FlyMates give back to their local communities: Part 2

Flywire provides FlyMates with two paid days off per year to dedicate time to a social cause they care about. Read how our FlyMates spent their time.

Samantha Mackowitz
Samantha Mackowitz is Senior Communications and Social Media Specialist

Flywire has always had an active role in giving back to our communities and supporting employees with social, charitable, and volunteering programs. In the past, we have even organized and funded many charitable events including our annual trip with School the World.

With that being said, if we truly want to “do better” in the world, we must take real action in our communities. At Flywire, we encourage all FlyMates (Flywire employees) to truly evaluate their own desire to have impact in the world, how they lead their day-to-day life, how they treat others, and whether there are ways that they can contribute to improving their country, community and themselves.

In an effort to encourage FlyMates to take even more action, in June 2020 our leadership team decided to provide FlyMates with two paid days of time off per year to dedicate their time to a social cause they care about. We asked FlyMates to share their experiences with us. In part 2 of this series we spotlight how our FlyMates around the world used their days off.

“I have never been a poll worker before, nor even thought much about who was staffing polls throughout the many elections I've voted in in the past, but I truly felt it was my civic duty to get involved this year.

I moved to Philadelphia in spring of 2020, and not only did it feel like a great way to get involved in my new community, but leading up to the November 2020 election, I had heard many concerns about a shortage of poll-workers due to COVID fears (the majority of poll workers are historically older in age). So I signed up, underwent a brief online training, took the day off as one of my FlyBetter days, and showed up at a local community center to work for 12 hours on election day in the United States.

I felt as though this was something I could do to ensure a safe and fair election for my fellow Philadelphians and Americans. The camaraderie I felt with my fellow poll workers, and the efforts that everyone took to make sure polls ran smoothly and safely, were truly an inspiration. I'm so grateful for this opportunity to take the day off from Flywire, and get involved in my community and in one of our country's most sacred traditions. I look forward to getting more involved with volunteering for elections in the future!

It was so cool to know other FlyMates were also using their FlyBetter days to work local polling sites. I felt connected to FlyMates all across the country. And of course, my Flywire water bottle kept me hydrated throughout the long day.” -Sydney Banks, Manager of Travel, Working from Philadelphia

Polling site in Philadelphia

“I used my FlyBetter Day to clean a part of the beach in Valencia, Spain. It was a group of around 10 people who work at Flywire. We met in the morning and since we haven't met for a long time, due to COVID-19, it was very good to see them and share this experience together. After the cleaning we had a nice lunch together on the beach.

I love that Flywire is giving us an opportunity to take off a day to do volunteering. I think it is very important and I hope a lot of FlyMates use this chance to do something good in the world. I'm already planning my next one!” -Eniko Kuris, Refunds Lead, Working from Valencia

“We went to clean the Malvarrosa beach with several FlyMates. Valencia has a lot of beaches but this one is very close and in summer is very crowded. We decided this because in winter it is very easy to find a lot of plastic bottles or sticks. It was a great idea. We picked a lot of things.” -Jose Maria Moreno Moreno, QA Engineer, Working from Valencia

Cleaning the Malvarrosa beach

“My family of three did a self-initiated beach clean-up day. We were at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, in Santa Cruz CA. The beach is always my go-to escape, and living near the coast (40min+) makes it accessible.

During the pandemic and lockdowns, getting outside has provided us all a chance to take a deep breath and mentally clear out some of the build up that happens when work and life are all happening in a small living space. During some of our outings my little one started noticing "dirties", or a lot of items that I didn't want her touching. So we decided to plan a trip to one of the more popular beaches, armed with tools to help us pick up all those things that don't belong on the beach. We made it a teaching experience for my daughter, talking about what things would be good for the ocean and animals in it, and what things were bad for them. We covered roughly a mile of beach and several full trash bags.

We were surprised the most common 'large item' were flip flops, and 'small item' were bottle caps. We felt a great sense of accomplishment at the end of the day, got in some good exercise, learned a few things, and had some fun.

I am really thankful for the flexibility to choose how I wanted to use my time to provide service.” -Joy Lawless, Senior Program Manager, Healthcare, Working from Palo Alto