Help Heal Veterans is a nonprofit organization that provides free art therapy kits to hospitalized and homebound veterans to use as a therapeutic and rehabilitation tool. Since 2018, more than 140,000 kits made with upcycled leather from Southwest seat covers have been delivered to over 85,000 veterans.
Help Heal Veterans and Southwest teamed up with Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools to create the Repurpose with Purpose Goes to School Upcycle Design Challenge. This competition offered middle and high school visual art students the opportunity to design a wallet therapy kit using repurposed Southwest seat covers.
The Help Heal Veterans team had the difficult task of choosing the winning design. And the winner is—*drum roll*—Caroline Stone!
Caroline was thrilled to learn that the Help Heal Veterans team selected her design with plans of manufacturing and delivering more than 12,000 kits to veterans across the country. The next surprise was equally as exciting—she would be flying to San Diego alongside her parents and teacher, Ian Isom, to see her wallet in production.
After months of planning, the travel day arrived and Southwest Employees really delivered on making every step of her journey extra special. Southwest’s Nashville station created a fun and festive sendoff for Caroline by introducing her and her project to the Customers in the gate area. The Inflight Crew truly made Caroline feel special with in-flight announcements about her project—they even put her Flight Attendant skills to work by passing out the wallet kits to other Customers onboard. Last but not least, Team San Diego welcomed Caroline with cheers and wonderful signs highlighting her project.
Help Heal Veterans warmly welcomed Caroline with a behind-the-scenes tour of their manufacturing facility where she was able to see her wallet kits in production, provided her gift cards to use on the trip, and even surprised everyone with a food truck for lunch to end the visit.
Caroline, congratulations from all your friends at Southwest Airlines and Help Heal Veterans! We absolutely LUV your wallet design and we know that your work is making an impact on veterans across the country.