Connection Made: Small Projects with Big Impact in Chicago


Southwest Airlines employees blew in from the frigid Chicago weather to give back to local nonprofits inside the tropical Garfield Park Conservatory on Wednesday. After an engaging presentation from Annette Prince, an SCA alum and director of the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors, a chorus of hammers rang out as the volunteers began the surprisingly challenging task of constructing birdhouses.

As volunteers became more confident in their carpentry skills, they pushed themselves to finish 35 wren nesting boxes to be donated to Chicago Audubon. Southwest employees were happy to learn that the nesting boxes would be used in local school gardens as part of the “Birds in My Neighborhood” program.

Participants also completed an impressive 500 bird rescue kits for the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors, which will help volunteers to rescue injured migratory birds from Chicago’s busy streets and transport them to the Willowbrook Wildlife Center for rehabilitation. Director Annette Prince stated, “I think everybody had fun today and we got a lot done! This kind of project seems like simple stuff, but it’s so important… especially since we are a volunteer organization, and we aren’t always able to do all this work on our own!”