WestJet Cares for Kids celebrates 10 years

A child views the world as a big, big place. There’s so much to learn, and so much to see and do. Every day is fuelled by imagination and filled with wonder and possibilities. At WestJet we believe in possibilities and making our world a brighter place, that’s why in 2007 we launched the WestJet Cares for Kids program.

Throughout the last 10 years, WestJet Cares for Kids has supported eight charitable partners across Canada to fly nationwide, and over numerous borders, by donating 65,000 flights! What does that incredible number truly mean? It means – no matter the distance – families can be together when a child is sick. It means bringing hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions by helping fulfill their wishes. It also means helping youth realize their full potential.

Through our WestJet Cares for Kids program, WestJet and WestJetters have played a role in positively impacting the health and well-being of thousands of young Canadians, thanks to our long-standing partnerships with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, Hope Air, Make-A-Wish® Canada, Missing Children Society of Canada, Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada, The David Foster Foundation and WE Charity.

Our donations of the gift of flight have helped all eight of our charitable partners deliver essential programs to the children and youth they serve, raise funds and reduce the cost of their business travel. We recently put together a video highlighting the positive impact of the gift of flight.

There are so many great stories to share from the past 10 years; here are just a few.

Connecting with others who share the same diagnosis:
Kelly is a 14-year-old with an incredibly rare genetic condition who longed to meet someone with the same diagnosis. When she heard about a convention in Tennessee for people with her condition, Kelly knew she had to go. WestJet and Make-A-Wish® Canada came together to fulfill her wish and on July 12, 2016, Kelly and her mom took flight.

Kelly had a wonderful time at the convention. She spent her week connecting with others like her and making many cherished memories with her new friends.

Kelly - Make-A-Wish

A promise to pay it forward:
In partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada, WestJet Cares for Kids provided the gift of flight to Lori, along with her daughter Sydney, to travel to see her nephew, Cobyn and family. “I would like to send my gratitude to WestJet and Ronald McDonald House for the generous flights to Alberta to visit my nephew. The only way I can ever show my appreciation for your act of kindness is to ensure you that we will pay it forward. Sydney and I will continue to volunteer in our community to help others in need…Thank you for all that you do for families around this country.”

Cobyn and family at Ronald McDonald House Canada

Honorary WestJetters:
On September 30, 2016, WestJet and Big Brother Big Sisters of Canada partnered to bring together more than 100 youth and 100 WestJetters across Canada for WestJet’s #MentoringMatters Day. In 28 airports, and at the head office in Calgary, young people were matched with WestJetters to learn the ins and outs of the aviation industry — and to showcase why mentoring is so important.

WestJet Cares for Kids 10-year-Logo

We’d love to hear about your experience if you’ve been positively impacted by the gift of flight. Send us a snap, tweet or share your story on Facebook using the hashtag #WestJetCaresforKids.

Keep looking up, because the next time you spot a WestJet plane, chances are high it’s bringing families closer together, kids closer to touching the stars and youth on their way to shining brighter.

To learn more about the program and our incredible partners visit WestJet Cares for Kids.