United Airlines is a corporate sponsor of Special Olympics, and the two organizations have partnered in a big way at Denver International Airport. Hanna Atkinson, a Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger, and Cody Field, who just competed in the 2022 Unified X Games in Aspen, Colorado, are now United Airlines employees at Denver International. Their duties include helping to tag bags and assisting customers through the check-in process.
The following is an excerpt from United Airlines Breaks Down Barriers by Expanding Special Olympics Service Ambassador Team, published by KDVR, Fox 31 Denver.
Jonathan Gooda, who leads customer service, said the program launched in Chicago three years ago and expanded to Denver in October of last year.
“It makes a huge difference to our team,” Gooda said. “You can just see the joy and happiness on people’s faces.”
And it’s not just the customers feeling the impact. United employees also benefit from the positivity their new colleagues provide. The United Airlines partnership with Special Olympics provides inclusive employment opportunities while building on Special Olympics awareness efforts.
“Special Olympics has always given us opportunities,” Field said.