What’s better than ice cream? Free ice cream. What’s better than free ice cream? Free ice cream in support of a good cause. Here’s the scoop… On April 12, Southwest’s NoLimits Internship Program teamed up with the Ben & Jerry’s of Dallas/Fort Worth for B&J’s 33rd Annual Free Cone Day Celebration. While the ice cream itself was free, all customers were encouraged to make a contribution to the American Red Cross. We jumped at the chance to serve our community (and ourselves to some scrumptious Phish Food). Thirty-two Interns and six Southwest Employees went out to Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops in McKinney, Plano and Highland Village to welcome the long line of customers, serve ice cream, and garner support for the Red Cross. Representatives from the Red Cross mingled with the customers and educated them on the organization’s mission. The Red Cross is an international humanitarian aid organization that offers emergency services. Its work includes domestic and international disaster relief, community services for the needy, support for military families, the collection, processing and distribution of lifesaving blood, health and safety education as well as international development programs. Southwest has been a long-time supporter of nonprofit organizations that focus their efforts on disaster preparedness and response, so this volunteer opportunity was a natural fit for us. As our Internship sadly comes to a close in just two weeks, it was sweet to Share the Spirit with the Interns in the height of National Volunteer Week. For a few short hours, we were living the Americone Dream. (I’m sorry, but it’s just too easy!) This blog post is part of a week-long series on volunteerism at Southwest Airlines in honor of National Volunteer Week. On Monday, April 13, 2011, Southwest launched 40 Hours for 40 Years, an Employee Volunteer pledge campaign that challenges its 35,000 Employees to pledge and record 40 volunteer hours in honor of our 40 years of service. For every 40 hours volunteered at a nonprofit by an Employee or group of Employees, Southwest Airlines will donate a complimentary, roundtrip ticket to that organization through its ongoing Tickets for Time program. For more information on ways that Southwest gives back to the communities it serves, please visit www.southwest.com/citizenship.
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On March 8, Southwest received two of PR News’ Corporate Social Responsibility Awards, as well as one honorable mention! These awards, which were presented at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., are an honor in the public relations world for Corporate Social Responsibility efforts. PR News recognized Southwest Airlines as a leader in diversity communications, annual reports, and corporate/nonprofit partnerships. Southwest Airlines One Report(TM) was recognized as the most outstanding annual report. The Southwest Airlines One Report ™ is one the first annual reports of its kind that reports to the Triple Bottom Line of People, Planet and Performance with the rest of the world. At Southwest Airlines, we know that how we treat out Employees, Customers, Operations, Communities and Earth all have an impact on the continued profitability of our Company. That’s why the Southwest Airlines One Report ™ speaks to all those topics and how they relate to our sustained success. Our inaugural Diversity Summit won the diversity communications category. The Diversity Summit, held back in October, gathered approximately 100 executives from North Texas Fortune 500 and companies and challenged them to “Join the Conversation” about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Sponsored by our very own Diversity Council, the conference stimulated diversity dialogue and education while strengthening relationships among corporate leaders. In the nonprofit/corporate partnership category, Southwest Airlines received an honorable mention for our Medical Transportation Grant Program. Established in 2007, this program enables nonprofit medical transportation organizations and hospitals to apply for a grant from Southwest Airlines for complimentary, roundtrip travel for patients who must travel for medical care. With hopes of assisting more than 5,500 patients in 2011, we’re proud to have doubled the list of partners this year and provide complimentary, roundtrip tickets to 65 nonprofit medical transportation organizations and hospitals around the country. We are both honored and excited to be recognized as a global leader in Corporate Social Responsibility by PR News. What a great accomplishment for Southwest Airlines, our Leaders who support our focus on the triple bottom line, and our People who make a difference in the lives of our Customers every day.
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Philadelphia Phillies’ centerfielder Shane Victorino isn’t a newbie to success. As a senior in high school, he was named Hawaii’s state track and field champion. An overall athlete, Shane quickly worked his way up to the majors in 2003 with the San Diego Padres and signed with the Phillies in 2005. Since joining the Phillies, he has captured three Gold Glove Awards and played in the post season for the past four years. His proven track record and remarkable speed have led his fans to endearingly nickname him the “Flyin’ Hawaiian.”
Shane’s tremendous success, however, is just as prevalent off the field. With a heart as golden as his glove, he is devoted to bettering his communities. In the spring of 2010, he and his wife, Melissa, launched a nonprofit called the Shane Victorino Foundation (SVF). As a proud sponsor of the Phillies, Southwest Airlines also champions the SVF and its mission.
“I admire Southwest’s commitment to giving back to the communities where its customers and employees live and work,” Shane said. “I am appreciative of this collaboration with my foundation to further impact the lives of underserved youth.”
The SVF works to provide opportunities to underprivileged children in Hawaii and Philadelphia through educational, recreational and wellness activities. Its first major project focuses on the renovation of the Boys & Girls Club of Philadelphia’s 100-year-old Nicetown unit, in which SVF made a $900,000 pledge. This contribution will not only benefit the children of the area, but also work to unite the entire community.
For his great work throughout this past year, the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association (PSWA) has honored Shane with its 2010 Humanitarian of the Year award. He received this accolade on Jan. 31, 2011 at PSWA’s 107 th annual banquet in Cherry Hill, NJ.
Other Phillies were also honored by PWSA that evening. Starting pitcher Roy Halladay was named Outstanding Pro-Athlete of the Year. Manager Charlie Manuel served as a guest speaker and Ruben Amaro, general manger, was also in attendance. The Southwest Family would like to congratulate Shane for his achievements and thank him for his continued dedication to making the world a more Fun-LUVing place!
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