Volunteer Spotlight: Garrett MacDonald
- Where are you from?
2. What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I have a photographic memory.
- What do you love about volunteering?
I love being able to help give back to the community, as it also helps develop my character, meet new people, help those in need, especially the kids who come along and fly, and it just gives the great feeling that you were able to make a difference.
- How did you hear about ATC?
I heard about ATC during my Senior year at BSU from Greg Bongiorno, the aviation program manager (and dream pilot) at the time for an opportunity to become an Intern during the summer of 2015.
- What made you want to become a volunteer for ATC?
Above the Clouds is a one of a kind non-profit organization that is truly changing lives. After getting the invite to come to a Dream Flight Day in April 2015, I realized that I had made the best decision in my life, and I still continue to volunteer to this day.
- How long have you been involved with ATC?
- Do you remember you’re first time volunteering for ATC? How was it?
Oh yes! I remember the first kid I saw fly because he got to fly in a turboprop, which was absolutely amazing.
- What is your most memorable experience with ATC?
I did get to help a cadet flyer through his pre-solo quiz, and since I also am a pilot myself, I did my best to make sure that it was all accurate and that he understood why the answers were right. That was a fantastic time, and shortly after, I got to see him fly solo, and it was awesome to see.
9. Talk me through a typical DFD you have with these kids?
I am the radio specialist at ATC, along with being a general purpose volunteer, which means I can do anything that’s asked. My primary responsibility, is to coordinate with the flight coordinators and with the managers on when the dream flyers depart and arrive, which helps everyone get to where they need to be when its needed. When a dream flight is arriving, I let the coordinators know that their dream flyer is about to land so they all are there to greet them right when they pull in.
10. How do you think ATC is changing lives?
ATC is absolutely changing lives for everyone involved, including the kids who come along, the pilots who fly them, and the volunteers who support the whole operation. The kids who are experiencing a very difficult time in their lives get an entire day that is dedicated to them and there were times when I even heard some kids say that it was the first time they really felt special. For the pilots, they get to get make a difference for someone who is in need. For volunteers like myself and others, it gives us the ability to help those who need it the most. From simply greeting others when they first walk in, to the talented artists who make the signs, the flight coordinators who make a very important impact in the operations, to the pilots who dedicate their time to take the kids for a ride it benefits everyone, and has made a very positive impact on the community.
11. Is there something I haven’t asked you that you would like to say about ATC?
If anyone who sees this is considering volunteering, I promise that it will be one of the best decisions you ever make in your life.
12. Describe ATC in one word