Arizona’s Heart & Sol: Tucson International volunteer lends helping hand to locals, visitors

Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 5:16 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Every week KOLD News 13 partners with Casino del Sol to highlight people and organizations who are helping others.

This week, introduce you to a dedicated volunteer who spends her days greeting passengers at Tucson International Airport with a smile and willingness to help out in almost any way she can.

Chris Elliott is a natural when it comes to helping others. For almost 10 years, she’s been giving her time as a member of the Warm Welcome Volunteers at TIA.

“I just enjoy being out here, there’s always something going on and the travelers are a lot of fun to meet from all over the country, and sometimes all over the world, so it’s really nice. It’s a fun time. I get in a little exercise in when I’m doing it,” she said.

That is, if you consider 3-4 miles a day of walking a little exercise.

As a Warm Welcome Volunteer, Chris is there with a friendly attitude to help visitors and locals make their way through the airport.

While it’s usually providing directions, one incident stands out the most. A man who walked up to Chris and told her he was having a mental breakdown.

“He said he was suicidal, which made me a little more nervous so I immediately got the police,” she said.

They were able to get the man the mental health he needed, possibly saving his life.

More recently, Chris took on the arduous task of individually packaging masks to hand out.

“She is so ready to please. She wants to be involved. She wants people to feel comfortable. She’s just very excited, genuine, friendly, everything we want in our Warm Welcome Volunteers,” said Craig Reck, TIA’s spokesperson.

As this week’s Heart and Sol recipient, Chris receives a $300 gift card from Casino Del Sol.

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