The Family Assistance Education & Research Foundation (FAERF) has been at the forefront of the evolution of emergency management, combining the head-heart approach for a fully integrated response to survivors of traumatic loss. Practicing consciousness in the workplace involves caring for people first, without exception.

Terrorist Who Built the Bomb Responsible for the Lockerbie Disaster to Stand Trial in 2025


Written by: Carolyn V. Coarsey, Ph.D.

December 2023

When you are kind to another person, your brain’s pleasure and rewards centers light up, as if you were the recipient of the good deed – not the giver. This phenomenon is known as the “Helper’s High.”

-Emory University Research

Many deeds performed by Care and Special Assistant Team members can easily be defined as random acts of kindness… as could be actions by leaders of corporations who go above and beyond most people’s expectations to be good to people who have been harmed or inconvenienced during their regular business operations.

    The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation defines the term as “a non-premeditated inconsistent action designed to offer kindness to the outside world.” The acronym “RAK” is now being used when individuals and groups are discussing the frequency of these acts of kindness and the growing body of research that supports the advantages for all who practice RAK and those who receive them.

Our duty is to be useful not according to our desires, but according to our powers.

-Henri F. Amiel, Swiss Philosopher (1821-1881)

    We recently reported two examples in Aviem.Info (as seen by Aviem clients in the November issue) where companies exceeded expectations to uplift others who benefited from their kindness.

Air Transport International (ATI) – Crew Member Death

     A pilot died of natural causes while on a layover. As members of FAERF, ATI requested support for the pilot’s family who had flown on their own to the layover city where the pilot had died in a hospital near the airport. FAERF activated a Care Team near the hospital to assist the family. Care Team supported the family with their practical needs while awaiting the journey home. Simultaneously, ATI’s team worked behind the scenes arranging transportation for the pilot and his family’s flight home for the funeral.

    The Director of Safety at ATI, along with members of the Emergency Response Team and Human Resources Department leaders, took care of details to relieve as much stress as possible during the family’s difficult time, including arranging for the family to travel on the same flight as their deceased crew/family member home. Once flights were arranged, the airline (Southwest Airlines) was contacted, and details were provided about who was traveling in the cabin and why they were on the flight.

    The Foundation’s Care Team member who escorted the family described how Southwest Airlines pilots and other employees supported the grieving family. Agents allowed the family to board before the other passengers and choose their seats. The Southwest team also helped the family view the casket as it was loaded on the flight. Once on board, the Southwest pilots announced to the other passengers that they were carrying one of their own “brothers” home for the last time, and his family was on board in the passenger cabin.

    Upon arrival, the pilots explained to the family the delay in seeing their loved one’s casket off-loaded without unnecessary references to airline terminology of “weights and balances” or any jargon that might otherwise sound insensitive about how cargo is loaded for safety purposes.  

    ATI leadership team and FAERF Care Team continued support of the family through the funeral, including sending employee representatives. Throughout the entire process of offering humanitarian assistance to their pilot’s family, the “hearts” behind the ATI logo sought ways for everyone to engage with sensitivity and provide random acts of kindness.

CSX Transportation Derailment

     On Thanksgiving Eve, CSX experienced a derailment in Central Kentucky, causing two hundred residents in the area to experience a disruption in their Thanksgiving plans. Leaving nothing to chance, CSX officials worked with local emergency response personnel to assist with evacuating residents, ensuring that all residents received safe shelter, food, and other items they needed during the inconvenience. 

    Going above and beyond, the residents were provided two nights in local hotels, even though they were free to return home after only one night. Restaurants in the area were open to the Kentucky citizens for free meals, along with an open account at a local retail store for toiletries and other necessities during the inconvenience.

    Recognizing the importance of the Thanksgiving holiday as a time of family gathering and connection, CSX provided Thanksgiving dinner at a nearby church where the residents and their families could gather. One woman expressed her gratitude through the Aviem call center on Thanksgiving morning. She wanted their leadership team to know that she did not have the money to provide her large family a holiday meal with all of the trimmings, but now, thanks to CSX, they would enjoy the dinner she wanted to provide.

    Once life safety (food and shelter) was no longer a threat, CSX opened a community outreach center where they met with the citizens and reimbursed them for all expenses associated with the incident. To show their true intentions for restoring a sense of goodwill, CSX provided each household with a generous check. 

    Providing shelter for inconvenienced community members is necessary to ensure physical survival. However, all of the extras that added to the residents’ sense of emotional safety might indeed fall into examples of random acts of kindness. Not the least was the family-style Thanksgiving meal, an open account at the discount store, free meals at area restaurants, and generous checks as an apology for their inconvenience.    
When we give of ourselves, everything from life satisfaction to self-realization and physical health is significantly improved. Mortality is delayed, depression is reduced, and well-being and good fortune are increased.

– Stephen Post, Case Reserve University School of Medicine

    As we start a New Year, following holiday celebrations with family and friends, at FAERF, we will look for opportunities to practice as many acts of kindness as possible—and will continue to report examples like those above to encourage others to do the same. The following quote gives us even more encouragement for such “RAKs.” It refers to a research project on acts of kindness.

The positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain of everyone who witnessed the act, improving their mood and making them significantly more likely to “pay it forward.” This means one good deed in a crowded area can create a domino effect and improve the day of dozens of people!

– Jamil Zaki, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford University for Scientific American, July 26, 2016

    From everyone here at Aviem International and FAERF, we wish you and your family at work and home a safe holiday filled with random acts of kindness…followed by a very Happy New Year! See you in 2024 at one of our upcoming Member-Partner Meetings!

Coming in January: Announcements about upcoming 

2024 Member-Partner Meetings!

 © 2023 Higher Resources, Inc./Aviem International, Inc.