This time of year, many school-aged children are dreaming of what might appear below a certain tree on a certain morning. For school-aged children in Cunén, Guatemala, all they want is a way to protect their school books.
While Scott Johnson, a Maintenance Inspector at the airline’s Central Wisconsin facility, may not have been dressed in red and white, a recent trip to the Guatemalan village brought some holiday cheer to dozens of students.
Since 2015, Endeavor Air employees have been supporting Scott’s “Backpack Giveback” efforts by donating gently used backpacks, which are hand-delivered to impoverished communities across Central and South America. Scott acknowledged that his ability to make trips like these – the most recent being his 12th to the region – is due in large part to the support of his Endeavor community. To date, he estimates he’s been able to deliver nearly 1,000 backpacks to students in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras.
“To have these supplies from my Endeavor family is just a blessing,” Johnson admitted. “When you work in this (aviation) industry, it gives you an opportunity to make a global impact.”
On this most recent excursion, Scott traversed treacherous terrain, steep mountain roads, and shifting weather conditions to get to the remote village. Cunén, which is nestled deep within the mountains of the country’s El Quiché department, welcomed him with open arms and hearts, knowing his special delivery could positively impact that community for generations to come.
“Oftentimes, education is the only way out of poverty for these children,” said Johnson. “It’s wonderful to see the smiles on the kid’s faces. We’re promoting education, opportunity, and future success. We’re sharing our love with them.”
While in Cunén, Scott handed out 70 backpacks, bibles, and treats to students of various ages. Many of the backpacks were donated by his colleagues at Endeavor, while the other items were supplied through community donations around Wausau.
“I can’t do this part without others doing their part,” concluded Johnson. “The donations are like bringing my colleagues and community with me. To see what this means to these kids makes it all worth it.”