As the executive director of the Kraddick Foundation, it is a tremendous honor to provide chronically and terminally ill children with an all-expenses paid week filled with unforgettable memories at Walt Disney World ® in Florida. To see the smiles on the families who attended this year's trip was an indescribable feeling. The annual Kidd's Kids trip is a program of the Kraddick Foundation, and one of life's most rewarding experiences. At our Kidd’s Kids telethon in October, Southwest Airlines Employees arrived early, and ready to great the thousands of faithful listeners of the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning show who were eager to donate to Kidd’s Kids. More than $533,000 was pledged in donations that morning to help cover the cost of the trip. This annual trip is made possible purely by donations from businesses and sponsors all across the country, in addition to the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning radio show listeners (over 90% of donations come from listeners). The outpouring of generosity from our listeners to the Kidd Kraddick show and corporate sponsors, including Southwest Airlines, was invaluable in making this year’s trip such a success. It is impossible to measure the value of family memories created that will last a lifetime.
For many of these families, the idea of taking a trip can pose a great challenge, but with the special accommodations that Southwest Airlines provided, traveling was once again stress-free. The families were greeted with a warm Southwest welcome and send--off celebration with music, food, and video games. The donated Southwest plane took off following a majestic water cannon salute as the plane approached the runway!
Kidd’s Kids is a bonding experience for many families to enjoy life and create memories while stepping outside their daily struggles.
Below are a collection of short messages from the families about their experience on the trip:
“I really wanted to thank you for EVERYTHING on this Kidd’s Kids trip. I really appreciated the TSA officer that you set up to help us through the airport. It was so nice and removed all the stress from front door to the gate.”
“Kidd’s Kids has given us the trip of a life time. I am still crying every time I talk about it....in a good way!”
“The experience is something that we will never forget --from the rides to shows to iPad--it was all so over the top.”
“We have made such amazing friends and sooo many lifelong memories!”
“It was a wonderful experience, one we will not soon forget.”
Thanks to all the Southwest Airlines Employees who were instrumental in making Kidd’s Kids possible! Your participation helped make Kidd’s Kids 2012 the trip of a lifetime for these families.
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This morning, the Kidd’s Kids staff arrived at Southwest Airlines Headquarters bright and early at 5 a.m.! We were quickly greeted by friendly Southwest Airlines volunteers who were eager and ready to kick-off our annual Kidd’s Kids Day! Kidd’s Kids is an organization that each year offers five days of suspended reality to children whose lives have been altered by disease. No hospital visits, no shots, no uncomfortable stares from strangers—just five days of sheer excitement at the most magical place on earth, Walt Disney World! This annual trip is made possibly purely by donations from businesses and sponsors all across the country, as well as the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning radio show listeners (over ninety percent of donations come from listeners). Southwest Airlines is the official airline of the annual Kidd’s Kids trip and provides roundtrip airfare for the families. Today, we are hosting our annual phone-a-thon at Southwest Airlines Headquarters. The room is staffed by Southwest Airlines Employees who have volunteered their time (and their sleep!) to answer calls and document donations coming in from listeners. Our relationship with Southwest Airlines extends beyond this event today to other experiences that the airline generously provides our organization, such as this fun “Pilot For A Day” opportunity. There are several ways to donate to Kidd's Kids, and don't forget to share them on your Facebook and Twitter pages. You can also text your friends, encouraging them to give as well.
Donate Online at www.KiddsKids.com Southwest Airlines Kidd's Kids Day Donation Hotline (open 6 a.m. – 1 p.m. CST) ONLY on Thursday, October 6, 2011. Call 888-792-5439 (888-SWA-KIDZ) You can text a $10 donation by texting KIDD to 52000 (the charge will appear on your cell phone carrier bill).
Thanks to all the Southwest Airlines Employees who participated in the phone-a-thon today, your participation and Servants Hearts will truly make a difference in the lives of these kids.
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