This guest post from David Campbell, founder of the nonprofit organization All Hands, originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of our onboard magazine, Spirit.To me, community in its purest form is people helping people. As the founder of All Hands, I believe there is strength that comes when people believe they are a part of something bigger than themselves. Community is best when we are working together toward a common goal.
All Hands is an organization dedicated to enabling volunteers and providing hands-on assistance to communities around the world in the event of a natural disaster. When such a catastrophic event occurs, our goal is to provide sustainable support to the communities by harnessing the energy and commitment of dedicated volunteers. We can’t predict when a natural disaster will occur, but we can equip and organize our volunteers so they are effective when the time comes.
In June 2013, Southwest Airlines and All Hands partnered to provide relief in Moore, Okla., where EF4 and EF5 tornadoes left nearly 20 miles of damage. More than 150 Southwest Employees joined All Hands to help the community recover, and we were able to mobilize over a dozen All Hands staff members and volunteer leaders to respond to this devastating disaster thanks to travel provided by Southwest.
Since 2010, Southwest has supported All Hands with cash donations and free airline travel. The tickets allow us to have flexibility and respond rapidly when we need to get to the site of unexpected natural disasters.