Saluting our Volunteers

On April 6th, Above the Clouds kicked off the April 7-13 Points of Light National Volunteer Week a day early with its first 2019 Dream Flight Day. Over 60 volunteers donated more than 100 hours as artists, pilots, photographers, videographers, flight coordinators, go-pro managers, radio flight monitors, board members, fund raisers, committee members, name tag and supply organizers and welcome teams to insure a memorable Dream Flight experience for 13 children.

 

Ten airplane owners donated the use of their aircraft. Pilots drove and flew into Norwood from as far away as York, Maine, to donate their aircraft, expertise and time. Piedmont Airlines donated swag bags for each Flyer. Westwood High School students created personalize posters for each Dream Flight child. Roche Brothers Supermarkets and Panera Bread contributed food to feed children, their families and the dozens of people involved with making the Dream Flight experience truly magical.

 

Independent Sector recently quantified the estimated value of a volunteer hour in Massachusetts to be $32.15. The volunteer cadre at Above the Clouds respectfully suggests that the joy and hope of Dream Flights and other ATC programs cannot be drilled down into such a metric.

 

Instead, we prefer the broader view articulated below:

 

“Volunteerism has been a driving force in the strength and power of our civil society since this country’s founding,” said Independent Sector president and CEO Dan Cardinali. “We know that giving of our time, talent, and effort transforms organizations, communities, and our nation, and also has profound effects on the individuals giving their time. The Value of Volunteer Time gives us just one concrete measure to illustrate the power of individuals to transform communities.”

 

“We believe the most powerful force of change in our world is the individual- one who takes action and makes a positive difference,” said Points of Light president and CEO Natalye Paquin. “This data shows the value that volunteers bring to the sector and the world. When people use their talents and skills to take action and support causes they care about, we can build a stronger, more equitable world.”

 

Above the Clouds deeply appreciates the 100+ volunteers who are the light, lifeblood and joy makers of our programs. Thank you for giving of your time, talent and treasure. Your contributions are incalculable.

 

SOURCE: Independent Sector Releases New Value of Volunteer Time of $25.43 Per Hour. Independent Sector Press Release 04/11/2019.

Volunteer Spotlight: Alexandra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Where are you from?

    Canton Massachusetts; currently reside in Attleboro.

2. What is something that most people don’t know about you?

    Learning and academics have always been SO hard for me. I practically failed out of high school with no academic support (IEP’s, etc.) And yet here I am finishing my Master’s degree and volunteering for a great organization.

3. What do you love about volunteering?

    Meeting new people and hearing their backgrounds and learning new things. But most importantly, putting a smile on these kiddos’ faces!

4. How did you hear about ATC?

    Tara and Mike invited my friend Justine to join. When I caught wind, I asked to try it out for a day. Next thing you know I’m kind of hooked!

5. What made you want to become a volunteer for ATC?

    I was struggling with some depression and I wanted to do something that would not only help myself but others. ATC helped put my life into perspective and “not sweat the small stuff.”

6. How long have you been involved with ATC?

    I became involved in the summer of 2018.

7. Do you remember your first time volunteering for ATC? How was it?

    Yes, it was great. I was nervous about making too much of a commitment at first. But then, I remember taking photographs of the children and only thinking, “I wish I could have more responsibility and more involvement.” (when I told Tara this — BOOM–, the next thing I knew I was a flight coordinator!)

8. What is your most memorable experience with ATC?

    This past weekend I was able to work with a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I am currently a Behavior Therapist in Newton Public Schools. I am finishing up my Master’s degree specializing in Autism. It was great taking what I know and applying it to such a special organization. I was able to create a social story to help the children further understand what to expect on their flight day. My child this weekend was BEYOND excited and thrilled to be on an airplane. Words will never be able to describe what that looks like.  You must experience it for yourself. 

9. How do you think ATC is changing lives?

    Many children at ATC have experienced challenges and struggles that are beyond describable. ATC provides them a day to let go of those negative emotions and feelings and allow them to have the fun they deserve. Next, ATC provides the children with choices; such as where they want to fly! They also have an opportunity to fly the plane themselves. Giving the children choices and “ control” is so important. It gives them that confidence and feeling of success before the day has even started! Speaking of control, they are even able to check the fuel in the airplane!  The entire experience from the flight, to the photo op, and fun secret prizes at the end keeps the children guessing throughout the day!

11. Is there something I haven’t asked you that you would like to say about ATC?

    Although I haven’t been involved at ATC for long, the support team and crew is growing TREMENDOUSLY. My mom has even come to participate and take pictures! There is no such thing as “too little work.” Everyone who comes is providing great support and love for these children. Participation can range from just showing up and cheering a kiddo on for an hour, to becoming a flight coordinator and creating social stories for the children. Every little bit counts. I never thought i’d become this attached, but after experiencing ATC in person, I can’t imagine not going back. 

12. Describe ATC is one word.

    Inspirational 

Jet Blue Tour

Amazing time at JetBlue last weekend. Nine of our Discovery and Cadet Flyers joined us to get a behind the scenes tour of the airline. We sat in the cockpit, viewed the tower ops and talked to pilots, mechanics and airplane operations personnel. An amazing time was had by all. Thanks JetBlue!
Check out our Album!

Discovery Pilot Michael Kolowich Teaches about Drones

A Drone. An Experienced Pilot. Cameras. Students learning. Amazing aerial footage.
Simply Awesome!

TV Production teacher Mr. McDonough and the CHS student team coordinating the upcoming CHS LipDub worked side-by-side with Pilot Michael Kolowich and his son Robert — and their drone — to capture aerial footage of the CHS campus during the December vacation.

Mr. Kolowich donated his time to teach the Canton HS students how to navigate the drone and record a variety of shots. The results (which will be featured in the CHS LipDub) are breathtaking and the learning experience was priceless.

A big thank you to Mr. Kolowich and his son Robert! A big shout out to Nick Buser for setting this up! Kudos to Mike Noone, Mia Tess, Jason Kaplan, Nick Buser, Steve Gorham and Mr. McDonough for working so hard to make the CHS LipDub 2.0 great. The LipDub is scheduled to be filmed in early February.

Photo Album of Drone Adventure

Page 1 of 3123