Employee Volunteerism

We’re all coming together to show how Good Leads The Way at United. Our people build stronger local relationships as they give back to their communities

Earth Month / National Volunteer Month

During National Volunteer Month in April 2023, United more than doubled both volunteer hours and individual volunteers compared to April 2022, with 827 volunteers spending 3,622 hours making a difference in the communities where we live, work and serve.

“It’s nice knowing that some of my time here on this earth is being used to help others.” said Newark Flight Attendant Otavio Guimaraes.

Events took place across the U.S., and included activities like amenity kit upcycling at Newark, Denver and O’Hare, packing meals for food banks, coastal clean-ups, tree planting, park restorations, new trail construction, mussel tagging and more.

“I love being able to meet new people from other departments and getting a chance to share my passion for helping others,” said Houston Inflight Assistant Manager Lauren Cyr.

United worked with 25 of United’s 100+ nonprofit partners to coordinate events throughout the month.

September of Service

September 11th is when the nation comes together to turn a time of pain, into one of doing good. United employees joined forces in many different ways and places, and between the meals packed, areas beautified, amenity kits upcycled and more, we made a meaningful difference. In September 2023, 2,286 employees volunteered 7,230 hours, demonstrating how Good Leads the Way.

“It’s incredible to see so many colleagues investing their time in our communities,” said Global Learning, People and Community Impact VP Helon Hammond. “Our volunteers really show the heart of United Airlines and giving back in honor of 9/11 makes this month even more meaningful. Thanks to each one of you that took time out of your day to support these important causes.”

September of Service by the numbers:

Unique volunteers 2,286

Cities served 138

Hours served 7,230

Meals packed 304,329

Amenity kits upcycled 12,000

Pounds of trash collected 349.53

Solar energy installed 6.24kw

Unique events held 315

Growth in number of volunteers over 2022 32%

Growth in number of hours served over 2022 19%

Events included 16 different shifts at local food banks across the U.S., neighborhood clean-ups around Chicago, five hygiene kit packing events with Good360, more than 20 meal packing events with 9/11 Day.org and RISE Against Hunger at multiple locations, Girls in Aviation Day events and many more.

Through all the volunteerism efforts in 2023:

  • 5,570 employees volunteered more than 50,045 hours to more than 580 nonprofits in 347 cities.
  • Volunteers were actively engaged with the community 365 days out of the year.

Hours volunteered since 2021:

  1. 2023: 50,045 hours
  2. 2022: 25,366 hours
  3. 2021: 14,599

Employee volunteer recognition

Nonprofit Travel Grant

In April 2023, United launched the Nonprofit Travel Grant program. This unique opportunity gives employee volunteers the chance to win two roundtrip tickets that can be auctioned by an eligible nonprofit to fund their charitable work.

Every active employee who volunteered at least one hour in 2023, was eligible to enter for the chance to win tickets for their favorite 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Thirty local nonprofit charities benefited from the grants thanks to the volunteering efforts of United’s employees.

Volunteer Service Awards

We value and want to reward the time employees spend making our communities stronger and better, so in 2023, United relaunched a full-year volunteer grant program. To recognize the tireless volunteer efforts of our employees and thank them for volunteering, United awarded our top 500 employees a $200 grant for the charity of their choice.

This annual program was in addition to the grant all employee volunteers received for committing at least one hour of service during our annual “September of Service”, and the workforce grant our top teams of volunteers received.

  • 1,152 employees redeemed September of Service Awards for another $28,800 donations.
  • Four employee work groups: Los Angeles, Lihue, Corporate Communications and Government Affairs, redeemed September of Service Team Awards for another $20,000 in donations.

Community Champions

United launched the Community Champion Program for employees at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Employees applied and were selected to serve as an extension of the Global Community Engagement (GCE) team to deploy their time, talent and skills to positively impact local communities.

Community Champions identified and led volunteer projects that were relevant locally and aligned with United’s focus areas of breaking down barriers, flying towards a sustainable future, inspiring the next generation of leaders and supporting disaster relief or preparedness. After a successful trial in Chicago, the program will be expanded to Denver in 2024.

Fantasy Flights

United hosted Fantasy Flight events across 12 stations during the 2023 holiday season, creating a memorable day filled with joy, gifts, food and entertainment. 770 employees volunteered to provide a unique event for children across the world, including Hawaiian residents impacted by wildfires, those terminally ill or those suffering from serious medical conditions.