Community Outreach has had a longtime focus on Southwest Airlines education-related initiatives because we believe educated communities are empowered communities. Championing educational attainment for all continues to be a foundational principle that drives our work across the communities we serve. From the founding of our Adopt-A-Pilot program to the celebration of our ¡Lánzate!/Take Off! Higher Education Travel Award, we have always encouraged students at any age to soar to new heights through learning. This includes through the Herbert D. Kelleher and Rollin W. King Scholarship, a program that’s been available to dependents of Southwest Employees for more than 40 years.
Providing scholarship opportunities and financial support in the pursuit of education can have a direct impact on a community, empowering and inspiring everyone to thrive. With that in mind, we’re excited to announce the launch of The Southwest Airlines® Scholarship!
While the scholarship application will not open until April 1, 2021, we encourage you and potential applicants to visit swa.is/scholarships today to review the application process and criteria.
Through our existing programs, we have seen the positive impact providing educational opportunities can have on a person and we’re excited to continue championing the importance of education through these scholarships. Whether in the air or on the ground, we believe community is more than a place—it’s at the Heart of what brings us together.
The Southwest Airlines® Scholarship:
Established in 2021 by Southwest Airlines. The intent of the award is to build a diverse talent pipeline and highlight the importance of inclusion for future generations in the airline industry.
The scholarships are one-year awards for students pursuing higher education. Applicants must be enrolled at an accredited vocational, community/junior college, or undergraduate program and pursuing a degree or post-secondary certificate.
This scholarship will be managed and executed by Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF)—a separate entity from Southwest, which is not a part of our Company’s operating budget.
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For more than two decades, Southwest Airlines’ Community Outreach efforts have centered on developing and nurturing authentic relationships with organizations committed to building resilient communities. We believe in championing causes that matter most and ensuring our investments mirror the diverse communities we serve. As part of these efforts and to celebrate the generosity movement known as Giving Tuesday, we are adding three new partners to our Points for a Purpose program: Polaris, Hispanic Heritage Foundation, and UNCF (United Negro College Fund).
Points for a Purpose gives Rapid Rewards® Members, including Employees with an account, the opportunity to donate their Points to select organizations. Travel is an essential component for these organizations as they provide mission-critical services and special experiences for their communities. In the spirit of giving and to welcome our new Points for a Purpose partners, we are donating 300,000 Rapid Rewards® points to be split between the three new organizations. While we support these three organizations through our annual giving initiatives, adding them to the Points for a Purpose program allows our Customers and Employees an opportunity to support their mission and work too!
The seven organizations supported through Points for a Purpose reflect the needs of the diverse communities Southwest serves and we know their impact will leave a mark, creating a better place for communities in the future. The transformational work these organizations accomplish ranges from providing assistance during and after disasters; supporting survivors of human trafficking; honoring our military; helping students from diverse populations develop into future leaders; and making a positive impact on our environment.
Our Heart is to take care of People. Championing and empowering our communities is more important than ever before. We encourage you to join us in this global generosity movement and donate your Points. Be sure to tune in to our social channels to learn more about how these partners are building resilience across the country. At Southwest, we believe community is more than a place, it’s at the Heart of what brings us together.
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Since March, Southwest Airlines has worked tirelessly to support our Employees, Customers, and communities impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Despite continued challenges to our business, it’s inspiring to see our Employees come together to think creatively and help those in need.
Southwest has put our Heart in Action to respond in meaningful and authentic ways. In fact, through our cumulative efforts, we’ve provided more than $1 million in support to help those on the frontlines of this crisis. We remain dedicated to serving in unique ways that are true to Southwest to help our communities when they need us most.
Our crisis response efforts started with donations of flights and cargo services. We provided more than 150 complimentary flights for medical personnel to assist in highly-impacted areas. We also donated our cargo services to humanitarian relief organizations shipping PPE, ventilators, and other life-saving medical devices across the country.
With many of our training classes going virtual, there was a decreased need in hotel rooms previously reserved. Southwest coordinated with our longtime partner the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas (RMHD) to put these hotel rooms to good use! We donated 160 hotel rooms to RMHD for families needing assistance while the House was unable to accept new family guests for health and Safety reasons.
This year, we celebrated the 35 th LUV Classic & Party in a unique way by donating $1 million to 101 local charities focused on serving children, their families, and communities. with a special focus on COVID-19 relief efforts. This donation was timely and critical to ensure these organizations can continue their missions. It’s important to note, this donation was made from existing LUV Classic event funds housed at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) and is separate from the Company’s operating budget.
In May, we engaged our Customers through a giving campaign to help build resilient communities. Customers who donated a minimum of $25 to Feeding America, American Red Cross, and Team Rubicon were offered 10x the Rapid Rewards® Points for each dollar given. Through this promotion, our Customers donated more than $650,000 to support the vital services needed for families across the country impacted by COVID-19.
With food shortages across the U.S., we identified a unique opportunity to donate our inflight snack and beverage service product that was currently going unused. Through this donation, we were able to provide nearly 13 tractor-trailers full of product to 15 food banks nationwide. These donations were valued at $655,000 and in addition to the food banks, they supported hospitals and community partners.
While many zoos remain closed around the country, our friends in the animal kingdom still need to eat, too. So, when the Denver Zoo reached out to our Cargo Team for help transporting food for their animals, we happily donated our shipping services to get these animals the grub they needed.
For nearly 50 years, Southwest has connected people and championed communities. As a Company, we marshal our resources to help the communities thrive where our Employees and Customers live and work. Even in times of financial crisis, the Southwest Family rallied to find creative resources to show communities that we are more than just an airline, we are their neighbor.
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For more than two decades, Southwest’s Community Outreach efforts have centered on developing and nurturing authentic relationships around our network with organizations committed to building resilient communities. We believe in championing causes that matter most and ensure our investments mirror the diverse communities we serve. With the increased dialogue around racial injustice, we have been able to lean on long-standing relationships we have with several organizations to help us as we listen, learn, and act. As Gary shared last week, “We stand alongside our Black Employees, Customers, and communities whose voices will no longer be silenced. There is plenty of work to be done, but we are committed to doing our part to drive change.”
Southwest is donating $500,000 through the Southwest Airlines Foundation (a corporate-advised fund within the Silicon Valley Community Foundation) to the National Urban League and 100 Black Men of America. This donation is above our continued local investments and will help advance the mission of these organizations at this critical moment in our country. It is being made from a protected fund, set aside from our normal operating expenses, for the sole purpose of allowing Southwest to make charitable contributions around our system.
We’ve been proud to support the National Urban League and 100 Black Men of America in their efforts to promote education, mentorship, and leadership development as they lift up Black communities all across the country. Our funds will be used to support long-term, sustainable change through national strategies and local initiatives centered on their impactful programs. Both organizations conduct crucial work that help create a catalyst for change and encourage Black men and women to realize their highest potential.
We invite our Employees and Customers to join us in supporting these organizations by visiting southwest.com/liftingcommunities and sharing this link with friends and family.
“The 100 is grateful for its corporate partnerships with those who stand with us in support of social justice,” said John E Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer of 100 Black Men of America. “Together, we can progress toward racial equality, economic equity, social justice, healthcare parity, and human dignity in the communities we serve.”
“As we move forward to create a more equitable economy that expands opportunities for all, the National Urban League is more grateful than ever for our partnership with Southwest,” National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said. “Southwest understands that strength lies in diversity and access to economic opportunity builds stronger and more vibrant communities.”
For nearly 50 years, Southwest has lived by a culture of love and followed the Golden Rule. While these guiding principles are not new to us, we’re using current events as an opportunity to look at them through a fresh lens. There’s work to be done, but we know, together, we will continue to spread inclusion, hope, love, and kindness across the communities we serve.
No matter what comes our way, we will continue to look out for one another because community is more than a place, it’s at the heart of what brings us together.
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In addition to National Volunteer Month, we also celebrate Earth Day during April. This week our #HeartInAction efforts focus on living responsibly because our Heart is to do what’s right by championing our communities and respecting our resources.
One of the many ways Southwest works to responsibly care for our resources is through our Repurpose with Purpose (RwP) initiative. Through this global sustainability program, and with the help of partner organizations, we’ve upcycled, downcycled, and recycled more than one million pounds of discarded materials into useful products. Working with partner organizations allows Southwest to do more than upcycle materials – we’re helping to build resilient communities. Through our innovative programs and practices like RwP, we work to minimize our environmental footprint, while maximizing our social impact.
At Southwest, we recognize environmental efforts can be more effective when we work together. As we near the end of April, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on how you can keep putting your Heart in Action and steward our resources. It can be as simple as picking up trash on your walk or shopping online with organizations like our RwP partner Rethreaded. Keep reading to learn how supporting this organization can help champion communities.
Thank YOU for doing your part in giving the world Heart today and every day. The following was written by Rebekah Suwak, Director of Marketing at Rethreaded:
Rethreaded exists to provide impactful work for survivors of human trafficking. Our clients begin with a three-month development program that includes on-the-job training as well as mental health counseling, crisis management, and case management. They are then fully integrated into the business through one of five departments and are pivotal in all aspects of the organization. Through important work combined with our integrated health services, women find renewed hope and reignited potential.
Our business has evolved in significant and tangible ways since we first began our partnership with Southwest Airlines. We received a call nearly three years ago from Southwest about joining the Repurpose with Purpose initiative. Of course, we said yes! Southwest donated a truckload of leather to Rethreaded after refurbishing seats on its aircraft. We continue to find innovative ways to work with the leather, along with additional support from Southwest, including an industrial sewing machine and leather cutting machine, we began to produce more complex products that are a part of the Rethreaded x Southwest Collection.
Every purchase supports this meaningful work for survivors of human trafficking. By shopping with and supporting Rethreaded, you’re making a difference in the lives of incredible women and making a positive impact on the environment.
At Rethreaded, we value the importance of the healing process, protecting our environment, and treasuring the Earth. When you purchase a leather item from Rethreaded, we guarantee you will receive a one-of-a-kind item created with love. Plus, it’s a great way to keep a piece of Southwest with you at all times!
Keep the hope and positivity going! Invite your friends to join us in giving the world Heart. Share how you’re putting your #HeartInAction by using this hashtag on your social posts and emailing your stories and images to email@example.com. Your submission may encourage fellow Employees to give back and could be featured in future volunteerism highlights!
Visit the Volunteer page at SWALife >Culture >Volunteerism for a complete resource guide to inspire your virtual volunteering efforts!
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We’re about halfway through April and National Volunteer Month, and we continue to be inspired by our Employees and Customers as they put their Heart in Action and embrace giving the world Heart.
Last week we focused on loving People by spreading messages of encouragement and hope. This week we’re focused on building resilience by showing support for the communities where our Customers and Employees live and work. There are so many different ways we can help to empower communities—despite the current limitations of in-person volunteer opportunities.
Thank you to everyone who is investing their time, resources, skills, and personal passions to support their local communities. Keep reading below to learn how supporting Southwest’s longstanding partner, the American Red Cross, during this time can make a difference.
The following was written by Kim Delevett, Southwest Airlines Community Outreach Lead
When responding to a disaster, Southwest’s first and foremost concern is the Safety and well-being of our Employees and their families. Our next step is to reach out to disaster response organizations, like the Red Cross, to assess the affected community’s needs. As a sponsor of their Annual Disaster Giving Program, Southwest works year-round with the Red Cross to evaluate needs and to support disaster response plans.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused a huge deficit in the number of available blood donations. Understandably, with workplaces, college campuses, and schools temporarily closed, blood drives at these locations have been canceled. It has become increasingly difficult to ensure lifesaving blood is available for patients in need because more than 80 percent of the blood the Red Cross collects comes from drives held at these locations. While many are answering the call to help stabilize the blood supply, it’s important to remember that blood donations are perishable and must be continuously replenished, even during this crisis.
Now it’s time to put our Heart in Action by rolling up our sleeves to donate blood. A single blood donation can help save more than one life. Rest assured, the Red Cross follows the highest standards of safety and infection control to help protect its staff and donors. Visit the Red Cross website to find donation opportunities and to learn more about safety precautions and tips to ensure a successful donation.
If you are healthy and feeling well, please make an appointment now by visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling (800) RED CROSS or (800) 733-2767.
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During National Volunteer Month throughout April, we’ve invited our Southwest Family to put their Heart in Action through a nationwide virtual volunteerism effort because we focus on giving the world Heart today and every day. Even with the current limitations of in-person volunteer opportunities, there are still ways we can champion our communities and serve others in need.
This week we’re focused on Loving People by spreading messages of encouragement to those who need it most, including first responders, senior citizens, teachers, and veterans. Keep reading below to check out how Southwest’s Ana Schwager supported one of our partner organizations that is in need of some Heart right now: Make-A-Wish kids.
The following was written by Ana Schwager, Southwest Airlines Community Outreach Lead
I WISH to meet my favorite celebrity. I WISH to be a mechanic. I WISH to see the ocean.
These are just a few of the wishes Southwest Airlines has helped grant for Make-A-Wish® kids since our partnership began in 2011. In fact, we’ve been a part of more than 4,000 wishes bringing joy to children with critical illnesses. A wish coming true can help children feel stronger, more energetic, and more willing and able to battle their critical illnesses. A wish renews hope, uplifts spirits and encourages the belief in the impossible.
Because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, many kids have to wait a little longer for a life-changing wish trip. As a way to share hope with Make-A-Wish kids waiting for their wish to come true, we invite you to create and share messages of hope and encouragement on your social media channels. Here’s how:
Create a message, video, photo, song, dance – whatever you can imagine – sharing a message of hope.
Post to social media, tag @MakeAWish (@MakeAWishAmerica on Instagram) and use the hashtags, #WishesAreWaiting #HeartinAction #SouthwestHeart
Spread hope and joy by tagging two or more of your friends to join in.
The Southwest Heart is about loving People. So, let’s show Make-A-Wish kids all over the country we can’t wait to begin connecting them to their wishes soon!
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Today and every day at Southwest Airlines, we focus on giving the world Heart. And in these unprecedented times, that might just be more important than ever. While Teams at Southwest are hard at work supporting our Employees and Customers in the wake of the coronavirus, we remain committed to the communities where we live and work. Responding in times of disaster is one of the many ways we live out our People-first culture. We’re dedicated to supporting organizations on the front line during this challenging time as they work tirelessly to help our communities across the country.
Southwest has been actively supporting communities impacted by the coronavirus. We have reached out to FEMA, our disaster response partners, and our Medical Transportation Grant Program (MTGP) hospitals to offer complimentary cargo transport to support their important work. Qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations can now inquire directly with Charters and Cargo about COVID-19 relief related shipping opportunities at swacargo.com. In addition, we are providing our MTGP hospitals flexibility to use their donated tickets to transport medical professionals around the country.
To kick off National Volunteer Month throughout April, Southwest Employees will rally to support our communities and serve others in need. Inspired by the stories of our fellow Employees making a difference, we invited our Southwest Family to put their Heart in Action through a nationwide virtual volunteerism effort because social distancing shouldn’t keep us from being neighbors. While this current crisis limits in-person volunteer opportunities, there are still ways we can put our Heart in Action to support our family, friends, neighbors, and communities as we navigate through these extraordinary times. Because at Southwest, we believe community is more than a place –it's at the Heart of what brings us together.
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