Our hearts go out to those affected by Hurricane Matthew. Southwest Airlines works closely with our disaster relief partners: the American Red Cross, All Hands Volunteers, Team Rubicon, and AmeriCares—these organizations focus on disaster preparedness and response during times of need. Southwest supports these charities year-round, getting them to the disaster sites. We are also providing the American Red Cross with water and snacks for their shelters. You, our loyal Customers, have been showing your compassion and generosity by asking how you can help. Please consider a donation to one of these hard working groups to assist their efforts by clicking on the links provided.
You may also help All Hands Volunteers, Team Rubicon, and the American Red Cross with a Rapid Rewards Points donation–click here to learn more.
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With the earthquake in Nepal, violent spring thunderstorms, tornadoes, and widespread flooding in the U.S., the need for long-term massive response is growing.
All of Southwest Airlines’ disaster preparedness and response partners have been activated, and resources are in high demand. While we support American Red Cross, Team Rubicon, All Hands Network, and AmeriCares each year, we want to show them the LUV right now as they respond to these disasters. We have committed to match up to $10,000 of new donations they receive from now until Friday, May 29.* To join us, please donate on each organization’s individual website by clicking on the links above.
Our Community Partners plan to make a difference domestically in the following ways:
AmeriCares has pledged support to our health clinic and emergency response partners in Texas, Oklahoma, and other states affected by the ongoing severe weather. Recent flooding raises health concerns and creates a need for tetanus vaccines, provision of medicines, and hygiene/clean-up items – all materials AmeriCares has pre-positioned and stands ready to deploy.
The American Red Cross provides shelter, food, water, relief supplies, health services, and emotional support to people in areas affected by disaster. In the central U.S., The American Red Cross has also contributed in the following ways:
More than 220 people spent Memorial Day working in American Red Cross shelters in the two states.
Since early May, American Red Cross workers have opened 30 shelters, served more than 23,000 meals and snacks, and handed out 31,000 relief items and cleaning supplies in Texas. Nearly 700 American Red Cross volunteers are assisting in disaster efforts with 22 emergency response vehicles, and additional people and vehicles are on alert if needed.
Volunteers are distributing food, comfort kits, and cleaning supplies in ARC shelters and from ARC response vehicles circulating in some neighborhoods when it’s safe to do so.
Team Rubicon applies the skills and experience of military veterans to first-responders in order to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. They are currently evaluating the areas demonstrating the greatest need and are at the ready to launch a response and help those affected by recent storms. Team Rubicon service projects vary in size and objective, often involving mucking out houses, removing large debris from homes with heavy equipment, and searching affected areas through coordinated efforts with other responding agencies.
All Hands Volunteers addresses the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disasters, engaging and leveraging volunteers, partner organizations and local communities. They coordinate both their own network of volunteers and “spontaneous” volunteers to ensure an effective relief effort and are currently in the process of evaluating how those volunteers can best contribute to this particular situation.
As hurricane season approaches, we encourage you to review and share the following resources with your friends and loved ones:
How to Prepare for a Flood
Build Your Survival Kit
American Red Cross apps addressing Floods, Tornadoes, Earthquakes, and Hurricanes
* Each of the organizations above successful raised $10,000, and Southwest is proud to match these donations for each of these organizations.
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As a member of the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program, an AmeriCares Annual Emergency Response Partner, and Corporate Sponsor of both Team Rubicon and All Hands Network, Southwest Airlines proudly provides proactive and ongoing support, helping enable these organizations to respond immediately to the needs of those affected by disasters at home and worldwide, including the Nepal earthquake. Here are their stories, and ways to help.
American Red Cross
Red Cross volunteers in Nepal are providing first aid to those impacted by the weekend’s devastating earthquake, along with helping with search and rescue and supporting first responders.
One of these volunteers is Sammeer Bajracharya, 22, an engineering graduate. He was part of the team deployed in the early hours after the earthquake to provide first aid and search and rescue support. When the earthquake struck, Bajracharya was in Bhaktapur. “As soon as the earthquake started, I knew what was happening,” he said. “I made sure my family was OK, and then as soon as the shaking stopped I went out to direct people to safer places.”
Bajracharya went to Kathmandu to join a team of first aid volunteers which worked in collaboration with emergency services treating victims and injured rescue workers. Their crew found a woman who was trapped in the rubble. One of her legs had been crushed by the falling building. Bajracharya said “We worked with the rescue teams and did our best to give her first aid, but unfortunately, we couldn’t save her.”
Bajracharya has been a Red Cross volunteer for two years, in an earthquake preparedness project. Additionally he is trained in first aid, search and rescue, and became a passionate advocate of volunteering. “I have become more and more involved and I love helping people,” he says. “I’ll keep volunteering for as long as I can, providing first aid and support to people who cannot go back to their homes.”
How you can help: http://www.redcross.org/cm/southwestairlines-pub
An AmeriCares emergency response team negotiated rough roads Thursday, driving eight hours to reach Aruchghat, a heavily damaged rural village near the epicenter of the massive Nepal earthquake. “You are the first people to have visited us since the disaster,” residents told them.
Their emergency response team is coordinating with local government officials and international organizations to provide health care, deliver life-saving medicines and relief aid, and assess health needs in high priority areas.
A shipment of 15 tons of medicines and supplies critical for the treatment of earthquake survivors, including intravenous fluids, wound care supplies, infusion sets and antibiotics, is scheduled to leave AmeriCares Amsterdam warehouse and will arrive in Kathmandu early next week. AmeriCares India is preparing a shipment of medicines, blankets, and hygiene kits from Mumbai and is also mobilizing medical teams, the first of which will arrive in Nepal today.
How you can help: www.americares.org/nepalearthquake
Team Rubicon has deployed 31 team members to Nepal, focusing on medical aid and wide-area assessments. With heavy cloud cover, it's been incredibly difficult for aid organizations to get good overhead images of the disaster zone and updated maps to know where aid is needed. As many agencies are focusing on life-saving operations, Team Rubicon is tackling the crippling lack of aerial imagery in the affected areas.
The team is equipped with UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles - drones) to provide visual assessments of remote areas. By creating a detailed map of the disaster zone, Team Rubicon’s medical teams will be able to identify and deploy to the areas requiring the most immediate care and most importantly, these maps and data will be shared with other relief agencies, improving the overall response to the people of Nepal.
How you can help: www.teamrubiconusa.org
All Hands Volunteers
All Hands is on the ground in Nepal, utilizing local volunteers who are able to assist their own communities devastated by the earthquake. All Hands has currently deployed 30 volunteers to assist a partnering NGO, Catholic Relief Services, in distributing 2,000 shelter kits and 2,000 WASH kits (water, sanitation, and hygiene) to people who desperately need these supplies.
All Hands’ Rapid Response Team, a group who specialize in project management and volunteer coordination, is arriving in Nepal. This team will work to ensure that local volunteers wanting to assist in relief efforts will be as efficient and organized as possible as volunteers help in rubble removal, "safe-ing" of homes (bringing down structurally compromised homes in a way to salvage the materials), doing whatever needs be done.
“We work with local and government groups to identify “the gaps,” engage local volunteers, and when the time is right, international volunteers to fill those gaps, and then build out a long-term recovery plan,” an All Hands representative shared. “While we are not technically local, we embed ourselves in the community so we can understand what it needs. We partner with local groups to build their capacity and use our international network to match needs with resources.”
The size and scope of this earthquake already means we will be working in Nepal for at least the next 18 months to make it safe again and to start re-building.
How you can help: www.hands.org
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In preparing for our November Military Heroes Month events at Southwest, I find myself thinking of my friend Paul who is serving in the Army as a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan, currently in Kandahar. When he is on leave and back in Dallas, he inspires me with his courage and “matter of fact” manner in what he does as a career. I know as a Chief Warrant Officer in the famed 101st Airborne Division, he is concerned about the treatment of our young veterans as they return home. For that reason, I am especially pleased to announce that Southwest Airlines is proudly becoming the Official Airline of the Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)! IAVA is a wonderful organization that was formed to help our brave military men and women as they return home.
To kick off our relationship with this amazing organization, this Veterans Day 11/11/11, Southwest Airlines is supporting the IAVA by proudly donating $1 for every drink sold on our aircraft, up to $50,000. This is the beginning of our relationship and we look forward to all that is to come in 2012!
About the IAVA:
Their mission is to improve the lives of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families and strive to build an empowered generation of veterans who provide sustainable leadership for our country and their communities.
What they do:
IAVA delivers services, resources and support to our membership of over 100,000 Iraq and Afghanistan member Veterans. We have a three-pronged approach to generating transformative change in the lives of veterans and their families in four critical impact areas: health, education, employment and community building. Their strategic approach includes the Three “A”’s: Assistance, Awareness, and Advocacy.
To learn more go to www.iava.org
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I am a personal fan of the "fake cockroach"... there are just so many times and uses for this one! And it's not quite as bad as throwing an actual live bug (cricket) on your boss's desk (Irene).... fortunately she had a good sense of humor!
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I found out what the final score in the USC/UCLA game was also:
Unranked UCLA 13
I was at the Orange Bowl in 2004 by the way.....and believe me; Sooner Fans understand heartbreak as well as any team!
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Thanks Robin! Did I also mention that we just hired a Cornhusker on my team? Game on John!
And a shout out to my pick 'em game buddies John and Nick as well as the rest of the guys (I'm the only pick 'em chick in the group) - we don't exchange $, it's all about the glory. I started out pretty good at the first of the season but have been tanking lately. I'm feeling good about this week!
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And a heartfelt Boomer Sooner to all! So glad to see Texas have a little controversy this week with the recently arrested player. After all- I've heard all I can hear about Bomar- I'm just glad he's gone if he was a trouble maker. We Sooners are happy to share the wealth, and see some other immature athletes get the headlines and smack talk for a while!
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Just got back from my hubby's 30th high school reunion. Thirty years is the great equalizer! It will also make you keenly aware of what happens when you DO or DON'T take care of yourself. Everyone was the same age, but there could have been a 20 year difference if you judge by attitude or health. So for those of you out there contemplating growing old gracefully... Go eat some fruit and take a walk! (Oh, and a box of hair dye doesn't hurt either!)
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