In addition to making nearly 32,000 mini miracles happen across our network over a 24-hour period, WestJetters across the country have also been busy preparing for and hosting the annual WestJet Cares for Kids Christmas. Our holiday tradition of joining forces with our partners at Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada (BGCC) has WestJet airports teams spreading holiday cheer by planning special events for 25 Boys and Girls Clubs across Canada.
In the spirit of making miracles happen, we also surprised 16 Boys and Girls Club youth leaders with the adventure of a lifetime.
WestJet flew eight youth from BGC of Calgary to Orlando where they met up with eight youth from BGC of Central Florida. Together they visited Walt Disney World, toured the Kissimmee Club and participated in community volunteering. Just when they thought the trip was over, WestJet surprised all of the youth with a trip back to Calgary! Bundled up in parkas and boots donated by Sears, they visited Lake Louise in Banff National Park and spent time in two Calgary Clubs, as well as in the community.
We asked 13-year-old Jacorryn from Orlando and 16-year-old Sabio from Calgary to tell us more about this incredible opportunity.
What did you think about the WestJet youth exchange?
Jacorryn: It was awesome! We got to meet a lot of people and see some cool stuff. We went to Banff National Park—my first time seeing mountains!
Sabio: It was amazing. I liked being able to see what’s going on at Boys and Girls Clubs in another country, to learn from them and make a difference at our own Club. It was amazing to see the famous people and big companies that help Boys & Girls Clubs of America. That’s something that we’re just starting to do up here; now I see how we can grow.
What are some of the things you will take away from the youth exchange?
Sabio: With something like this, you learn to treat everyone equally. People might come from different backgrounds, but everyone is there for the same outcome; there’s no room for discrimination. It was great to have WestJet work so hard to put this together and throw so much our way.
Jacorryn: It was cold in Canada and the jacket and boots that Sears gave us are awesome. I didn’t have any winter stuff down in Florida.
What are some of the positive things you’ve discovered from being a Boys and Girls Club member?
Jacorryn: I’m part of the Digital Arts program in Orlando. We take pictures with big cameras, work with a green screen and we use expensive software and equipment I wouldn’t normally get to use.
Sabio: I’ve been doing photography for about eight years now. I’ve gone from learning it, to doing it and now I’m teaching it. I volunteer teaching 6 to 8 year-olds at my Club how to use the camera and how to shoot good photos. We also talk about how we can use photography to help the community.
What about this whole experience stands out the most for you?
Jacorryn: I loved going to Lake Louise and standing on the ice. It was great to throw snow at each other and just have so much fun.
Sabio: I think the best part was being chosen to go on the trip. For me, that was the biggest highlight because it showed how far I’ve come and how much I’ve changed. Being chosen to go on an amazing trip like this really warms my heart.
This blog post was co-written by Jenifer Badry and Jared Morrow, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada