Alaska is making a difference in people’s lives by giving back this holiday season. From college students on planes facing housing anxiety for the holidays to Pack-the-Plane efforts to stock the shelves of local food banks.
Jaideven Tabios-Suesue knew it wouldn’t be easy when he left the only place he called home to pursue a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” as a defenseman for the San Jose City College Jaguars.
He was more than 3,000 miles away from his 14 siblings and had no way to visit him if he got homesick, let alone school breaks.
This month we surprised Jaideven and two teammates who are experiencing housing insecurity in the holiday season’s Gift of Travel. Students were identified through their relationship with the San Jose Evergreen Community College District Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports student access and success through philanthropy.
“I was moved to tears by the exciting news that Alaska Airlines will help three students who are facing housing and financial difficulties and will return them to Anchorage and Boston to be with their families on vacation. overflowed.”
Rosalie Gutiérrez Ledesma is Executive Director of Government and External Relations at San José and Evergreen Community Colleges.
According to Ledesma, 68% of San Jose City College students who responded to the 2019 #RealCollege survey said they were having trouble finding housing, and 25% said they were experiencing homelessness without permanent housing. says.
Two San Diego State University students identified through Wesley House in San Diego were also surprised by the plane visiting family, including Carson Timmer. He said he hadn’t had a permanent home in over a year until he found affordable housing.
Before Timar moved from Dallas to San Diego, he discovered that a close family friend had taken all of his college savings.
“My roommate and I were talking about Christmas and I was overwhelmed because there were too many question marks and I wanted to see my mom,” he said. “Really, it makes a lot of sense.”
The “gift of travel” didn’t stop at flights for students to visit family. All five students were given her $500 gift card and her $1,000 to pay for future rent. Alaska also donated a total of $10,000 to the Wesley House of San Diego and the San Jose Evergreen Community College District Foundation to support the important work they do for future generations.
Jaideven Tabios-Suesue Currently attending San Jose City College as a freshman student-athlete. He and his 14 siblings were adopted by his grandparents in Anchorage, Alaska after his father was imprisoned and his mother moved to another state. Jaideven is the first in his family to want to go to college, earning his A in business major. He wants to transfer to San Jose State University to pursue being a Spartan on and off the field.
Jeremiah Rollins A freshman at San Jose City College and an offensive lineman for the school’s soccer team, the Jaguars. The first person he wants to meet when he returns to Anchorage is Alaska, and she is his mother, who raised him alone. I’m doing it,” he said. When the family of one of Jeremyah’s teammates found out Jeremyah couldn’t afford a place to live in the Bay Area, they opened the door and welcomed him into their home. He hopes to find his job soon and secure a place for himself.
Larissa Chacon is a first-generation Latina student at San Diego State University and a third year student majoring in Sociology, Minor Women’s Studies and Honors. The San Francisco native works two jobs to purchase affordable homes through Wesley House. Larissa and her siblings were separated from her mother at an early age before reuniting years later.
Mike Holt The freshman is a freshman at San Jose City College and a wide receiver on the school’s football team. He moved from Massachusetts and he soon found himself struggling to stay home. He now has several roommates and shares a room so he can pay the rent. “I miss my family when I move across the country,” he said.
Carson Timmer He is a senior at San Diego State University majoring in English. His dream is to become a teacher. He currently works as a special education assistant at a local high school. Before moving to California from Dallas, Texas, Carson learned that his close family friends had used up all of his college savings. He experienced housing anxiety for over a year until he found affordable housing through Wesley House.
Give back this holiday season
Filled 36 planes with food for hungry people
When Alaska first launched its Pack-the-Plane holiday food drive in 2009, the idea was to fill an entire virtual plane based on food weight and what the plane could hold. This effort expanded over time and eventually included partnerships with local food banks and online donations. planes, raised $171,000, volunteered 415 hours and donated 6,400 pounds of food to 104 food banks in the cities they fly to.
we flew the kids to the North Pole
The annual Fantasy Flight recently arrived at the “North Pole,” bringing smiles and holiday cheer to dozens of children in the Spokane area. Many of them live in shelters or temporary housing.
It was the first time for most of the children to be on an airplane. Flight 1225 (“December 25th”, etc.) left Spokane, Washington for Santa’s hometown. Upon arrival, the children were treated to an elaborate party, a veritable winter wonderland. Hundreds of employees and their families have volunteered as elves to make this experience extra special.
For underprivileged children, this special treatment provides temporary uplift and lasting memories during this time.
Milwaukee and Fairbanks employees fill in for Santa
If you’re celebrating Christmas, writing a letter to Santa is exciting in itself, but how magical does it feel to get a reply? That’s what a little one is going through this month who traveled through Wisconsin’s Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) between November 18th and her December 2nd.
That week, travelers dropped letters to Santa with wish lists on special red mailboxes. From there, Milwaukee Station employees sent mail to Fairbanks Station.
@mitchellaairport Santa’s mailbox has arrived at MKE and the first three letters have been dropped! Guess who? #holiday#holidaycountdown#airport#fyp♬ Elf – Main Theme – Geek Music
In Fairbanks, Alaska, agents are replying to all letters and working with Milwaukee Airport to purchase gifts for children who have written to Santa and mail a surprise to each of them.
Called Letters to Santa, this joint Alaska-Milwaukee airport initiative began several years ago and brings holiday joy to every season.