The Piccirillis: A Wings of Hope Family Affair

When Wings of Hope’s longtime housekeeper retired this past March, Mike “Pic” Piccirilli, aircraft donation and sales representative for the organization, asked Director of Human Resources Angela Walleman if his daughter, Jenny, could take over that role. The answer was a resounding “yes.” And over the past several months, Jenny has become a cherished member of the Wings of Hope family, often working alongside her dad and her mom, Mary, who is a regular volunteer.

Director of Operations Tim Long recently observed all three Piccirillis in the hangar helping prepare for a weekend special event.

“It struck me as something very special that within the Wings of Hope family is a family striving together to help us all change and save lives through the power of aviation: Jenny, as a staff member; Pic, as a contract employee; and Mary, as a volunteer,” said Long. “Together, this one family covers all of the roles of service to our humanitarian organization.”

Mary shared that “aviation has always been a part of our family’s life.”

“Mike’s father instructed pilots during World War II and continued flight instruction part time throughout his life, which included helping Mike get his pilot’s license. Our entire family feels fortunate to have found Wings of Hope as a way of giving back to others the joy and value of general aviation.”

Mike was the first Piccirilli to join Wings of Hope. After retiring from Boeing, he found a meaningful second career selling the donated aircraft the organization receives to help fund its mission. Combining his love for aviation and his knowledge of aircraft — it was the perfect fit for Mike.

“He had found his niche in life,” Mary said.

“When a position cleaning the administrative facilities became available for our daughter, Jenny, we knew that an answer to our prayers had come,” she said. “Finding a welcoming, safe, loving environment for her to work had always been a concern of ours due to her disabilities, including a seizure disorder and autism.”

Today, all three Piccirillis can be found working and volunteering at Wings of Hope — often on the same day.

Mary has taken on the role of job coach for Jenny: “As her mom, I know her strengths and am able to provide her the tools she needs to be successful.”

Success, to Jenny, “is making the offices a happy place by keeping the facilities clean and fresh,” said Mary.

“Jenny loves her job and tells everyone how much she looks forward to coming to work and how much she misses it when she can’t come in due to illness or vacation,” she added.

As much as the family has given to the organization, Mary cherishes what they have received.

“What a gift that has been given to our family,” she said. “Wings of Hope has become our home away from home where we can work together to help in continuing the legacy of Wings of Hope — changing and saving lives through the power of aviation.”

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