Watch how Alaska employees surprised kids at Mary’s Place, part of our Week of LIFT

Mary's Place: 2019 Alaska Week of LIFT | Photo by Alan Alabastro

A roar of excitement filled the inside of Mary’s Place, a nonprofit in King County that provides safe, inclusive shelter services for women and families, on Friday afternoon while children and teens were surprised with a brand-new playroom and study space filled with games, bean bag chairs and a fresh coat of paint.

The event was part of Alaska Airlines’ initiative to make flying matter during our companywide week of giving back to the communities we serve, called the Week of LIFT. More than 700 Alaska employees volunteered at over 20 events in nine cities across the United States.

Francis Kelly with her 1-year-old son at Mary’s Place | Photo by Alan Alabastro

Some of the volunteer events included serving at local food banks, teaching classes and participating in outdoor cleanups through organizations like KUPU in Honolulu, New York Cares in New York City, Covenant House in Anchorage, Reading Partners in the Bay Area and Mary’s Place in Seattle.

“I’m shocked, I’m excited for my son and for all these little kids to have something to play with, this is a very big difference,” said Francis Kelly, a Mary’s Place guest. “We don’t know what it’s like to be home. So, for these kids to have a place to play is happiness for us.”

Linda Mitchell, the chief communications officer of the family shelter, said their mission is to have no child sleep outside — and give them the chance to play like a regular kid. For 20 years, Mitchell said all eight shelters located across the greater Seattle region have kept women, children and families together, inside and safe when they have no place else to go.

“We have truly cherished our relationship with our hometown airline over the years,” said Marty Hartman, executive director of Mary’s Place. “Funding, sponsorships, and volunteer projects like the ‘Week of LIFT’ are transformative for Mary’s Place, and our families.”

Watch the big reveal:

Video by Randy Eng

“We are so grateful to be included in this special week of giving and to the amazing volunteers who brightened our spaces, added toys and furniture for our Kids Club and Teen Rooms to remind families that they are not forgotten and our community cares about them,” said Hartman. “You all are bringing so much love and hope – what an incredible gift!”

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We know getting involved makes a difference.

Giving back is part of who we are. From the beginning, serving people and our communities has defined us. Driven by our incredible employees, Alaska and Horizon have a legacy of thinking long-term, taking care of each other, giving back to the communities we serve, and flying greener.

“It’s about people — the people who make up our workplaces and this place we call home.” -excerpt from Puget Sound Business Journal Opinion: Corporate responsibility isn’t all corporate — it’s about people and community by Diana Birkett Rakow, VP Alaska Airlines External Relations

Named after the core principle of motion, LIFT allows us to fly, taking people where they need to go. “Where someone needs to go” isn’t always a destination city–it could be a community center, a school or shelter–you name it. We’re always looking to new ways to inspire our guests and to help those around them.

Want to get involved?

Here are few ways you can join us in making an impact:

Learn more about Alaska Airlines’ LIFT program and read the 2018 Sustainability Report. Follow our efforts @AlaskaAir, tag us with the hashtag #makingflyingmatter or #iflyalaska.