Last week was extremely exciting for me. I had been compiling a large amount of data on flights to Disney. I finally finished converting the data into graphs and before me I saw a pattern. It appeared that flight costs have been rising in the past few years, but when I analyzed the graph it seemed that January tended to be an outlier. It almost always had the biggest average per fiscal year when it came to the cost of a flight per person to Disney World. I eliminated the highest January from the data, which resulted in the trend line going from rising to very nearly flat. I was able to discern that flights to Disney World have not in fact been rising, which is great news for MAW.
I then looked into every single airfare for wishes in January. They’re only expensive during the first week in January. My boss and I brainstormed ways to combat these prices. We figured that the best approach would be to save vouchers to pay for those flights during the first week of January, as many of the reason behind why they’re so expensive are not things we can control, such as rush wishes. I felt so happy to have come up with some very concrete information that will help MAW project costs for each year, as Disney World makes up about 50% of our wishes. I’m currently looking into if we use less in-kind resources during January, perhaps contributing to exorbitant flight costs. I hope to create templates that will help other chapters examine their flights in the same way to see if they similarly have not seen increases or if their flights costs are very high during the first week in January.
The best part of weekend was serving dinner in the YMCA shelter with the Community Shelter Board. I spent one Saturday a month in high school working with Public Action to Deliver Shelter. I would come in during the evening to help set up beds, serve dinner, and help with anything else our guests needed. I have greatly missed doing service like that in college and was so excited to volunteer this past Sunday. I really enjoyed the connection it made me feel to the community, meeting other people who love to give back, and being able to be of service to people who have fallen on hard times. They start off with a tour of the facility, which I really enjoyed. We learned about how the shelter has a program where they coach their guests on how to get back on their feet, from which they have had a lot of success. I hope to volunteer there again soon.