There are approximately 5,000 Inflight Crewmembers in our developing Transport Workers Union local, and many of them volunteer to help people in need.
The B6 Flyer caught up with crewmember Amy Buchan Kavelaras, who literally is royalty when it comes to volunteering. When not wearing a JetBlue uniform, Amy periodically dresses up as a Disney princess to lift the spirits of children who are ill, homeless or in other dire circumstances.
How long have you been with JetBlue?
I’m in my 14th year! Yay for the class of 15/05!
What made you want to volunteer in the community?
Growing up, I was always taught to put others before myself. I can attribute these values to my parents. My dad is a Pastor, and he showed us the importance of continually putting our faith into action. We would go to homeless shelters and soup kitchens as a family for as long as I can remember.
Have you visited different countries for volunteer work?
Yes! Lots! I’ve done my best to utilize our flight benefits to better the world around me. I’ve served in a pre-school in Africa, visited orphanages in Mexico, helped with special needs orphans in Russia and Ukraine, and have even gone to remote villages in El Salvador to provide food and aid.
How does it make you feel after you have completed volunteer work?
It makes me feel like my life matters and that I have a purpose in my existence on this earth.
What was one of your most memorable moments while doing volunteer work?
When I was in El Salvador on the JetBlue Mission (with fellow F/A’s and Pilots) in 2008, I had an experience that changed me forever. I met a little girl who begged me in Spanish to come to her “house,” so I followed her, and she excitedly showed me her family one-room shack made of newspapers, cardboard, and scrap metal from the local dump. She was SO proud of that shack, and her eyes lit up as she showed it to me and invited me in. I realized it’s never about what you have, but it’s about the appreciation and gratitude you possess for every little thing you have been given.
What was one of your saddest moments while doing volunteer work?
I do princess impersonating as a side gig, so I get asked to do lots of volunteer visits for sick kids. On one visit I was asked to come “Make A Wish” for a little girl who was terminal but loved Ariel. I did a princess photo shoot with her and provided special magical photos of her and I both dressed up as Ariel along the water to her family. Shiann was only three years old, and she passed away shortly after that photo shoot, but I’m so thankful I was able to fill her life with joy for the short time she was here.
What message/advice would you give someone interested in doing volunteer work?
(Quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)
“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”