Community steward

Kitty Hardesty, Premium Services Representative in American’s Admirals Club in Nashville, volunteers for many events and causes in her community.

Hardesty is Nashville co-chairperson – along with the club’s bar steward, Terrell Lee Kohn — for Champions for Children, a UNICEF Change for Good® program. American flight attendants and other employees collect change to donate as well, making it a huge team effort. Each year Hardesty and Kohn have celebrities sign a guitar that is auctioned, with proceeds also going to UNICEF. To date, tens of thousands of dollars have been donated. “Pennies can make such a difference,” Hardesty says. “Two dollars immunizes 20 children against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough.” 

Hardesty also is involved with March of Dimes, having knocked on many doors to collect donations over the years. Her mother has polio and also volunteered with March of Dimes for years. “She is my inspiration,” Hardesty says.

Hardesty also volunteers with Snowball Express, an annual event in Dallas that brings together the children and surviving spouses of America’s fallen soldiers with other families experiencing similar circumstances. The families enjoy a weekend of fun and entertainment that helps build positive memories. Many of the families return each year and continue their friendships.

En route and from curbside to the concourse, the families are treated like VIPs. “We throw a huge party here at the gate before their flight to Dallas,” she says. “Flight attendants decorate the plane, and we give them a big send-off.”

Devotion to these causes earned Hardesty a finalist ranking for the American Airlines Spirit of Giving Volunteer of the Year award for 2012. 

“It is an honor to be nominated,” she says.

“I’m in such good company with my coworkers here in Nashville, and I am blessed to be an American Airlines employee.”

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