This past month, Skydio worked directly with the Pearl Mae Foundation - which provides fresh, healthy groceries and supplemental financial support to low-income senior citizens, to enable a one of a kind “bucket list” experience, flying drones for the first time. Pearl Mae Executive Director, David Krell, cited Skydio as the perfect drone for their seniors as it appeared to be “uncrashable.”
Flying at Any Age
Skydio Talent Ops Manager Sam Klepek and Recruiter Morgan Presley Culver joined the Pearl Mae volunteers and seniors in North Palm Beach, FL for a day of teaching hands-on flying. The day started at the Jupiter Farms Nursery and Garden in Jupiter, FL where the Pearl Mae volunteers and a small group of seniors learned how to fly.
After the morning session at Jupiter Farms, volunteers delivered groceries to roughly two dozen seniors, while getting them engaged and out of their homes to learn how to fly. Some seniors were more hesitant than others in trying for the first time but quickly warmed up after realizing they couldn’t crash the drone. The activities drew others outside to watch and learn, with many asking if Skydio would return so their grandchildren could try.
Supporting the Pearl Mae Foundation
Skydio donated a S2 kit so seniors could continue learning to fly and we hope that their first flight inspires them to continue to try new experiences. The Pearl Mae Foundation is a non-profit and is continually looking for donations and support to provide for their senior community. If you are interested in supporting, please visit their website to reach out.
The State of Senior living in America
For many seniors, Social Security is their only source of income. The average monthly payout to retired workers was $1,230 in 2012 (U.S. Social Security Administration 2012). Unfortunately, many are dependent on the fixed funds every month and are constantly under financial pressure due to the cost of living and health conditions. According to the AARP, 77% of adults 50 years of age and older want to remain in their homes long-term, a statistic that has remained the same for over a decade. Additionally, many seniors don’t have the financial means to even consider downsizing, relocating, or moving into costly medical facilities or nursing homes.
Right now, the Pearl Mae Foundation feeds 71 low-income seniors their entire years’ worth of groceries through their food program, Pearl’s Pantry. Many of the supported seniors live on $10,000 - $15,000 a year. They deliver in person every two weeks with the support of a nutritionist overseeing the program, ensuring it’s mostly fresh produce, meats and strategically chosen pantry items.
The Pearl Mae Foundation doesn’t stop at just providing food and additional financial support for their seniors, they coordinate enriching experiences for their community. Recently, seniors “visited” the Churchill War Rooms in London and the Guggenheim Museum thanks to donated VR headsets from Rendever and museums donating their time for private virtual tours.
Adding to their “bucket list” of experiences, seniors were recently able to check off flying drones for the first time. Part of the beauty of Skydio Autonomy is the ability to make drones more accessible to more people, from young kids and those with disabilities to seniors.
Skydio For All
Skydio For All is an industry-first initiative that utilizes Skydio’s autonomous flight technology to create lasting, positive impact for future generations. The program leverages the full range of Skydio’s resources—from product donations to training and support—to partner with local and global communities. Projects involving STEM education for underserved communities are at the heart of the program, but it also supports other activities, including providing opportunities for veterans, preserving cultural and heritage sites, supporting wildlife conservation, and support of global humanitarian crises such as the war in Ukraine. To learn more about our work, view the recently published 2022 Annual Report.