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Southwest Airlines Community

Seriously. This *really* is what we do, and who we are.


Some of you may have seen our tv ads recently talking about our Southwest's involvement in our communites. And I don't mean just the communities we serve--I mean all of the communities that Southwest Employees live in.  Unlike other airlines, Southwest has Employees that reside in every single city we serve, and at the same time we live in a lot of communities that Southwest doesn't even serve (flight benefits are a very nice thing!).

I want you guys to understand that this isn't a marketing tag--this is a personality trait that Southwest Employees share.  Seriously.  It's one of the three tenets of "Living The Southwest Way," to have a Servant's Heart.  And while we have as our Corporate Charity the amazing Ronald McDonald Houses nationwide, we all are also involved in far more than that one cause in our hometowns.  I've seen my SWA Family go way over the top serving their home communities in my 20 years with this remarkable Company....but you guys just have to hear about this one. It's just wonderful.

Southwest has served St. Louis since 1985, and we have an amazing Team assembled to work our operation there.  That also means we have some Employees that have been working for SWA at Lambert for quite a while.  One of those is Rolando, a Leader at STL who's a friend and one of the nicest guys I've ever known.  He lives a Ground Ops routine.  Go to work, go home.  Go to work, go home.  You never know what your hours will be.  Occasionally stop by the grocery, the hardware store, the dry cleaner.  Life is life.

Late last year, Ro noticed that the clerk who had served him at his dry cleaners for years wasn't around.  He asked about her and learned that she had been diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer.  Ro's wife is a breast cancer survivor, so he knew immediately that he had to get involved in helping the clerk.  He, and his STL colleagues, visited the clerk and realized the depth of the need. 

( Oxygen tanks at the front door, because she had labored breathing..)

 (The landing from thegarage area.)


(The old kitchen floor.)


Enter Extreme Makeover, Southwest Edition.

Ro and his crew almost replicated the ABC television crew's best efforts.  They moved the clerk, her daughter, and grandchildren out of the house to rooms donated by the St. Louis Airport Hilton--and then hit the house renovations hard!  They partnered with the local Home Depot get materials to renovate their dilapidated home, as well as with the generosity of Carol House Furniture in St. Louis to provide beautiful new stuff to move into the renovated space.

The kicker?  All of this work was done on each Employee's own time.  Days off, off-work hours....their own time.  Done purely for LUV and because it was the right thing to do. 

(New bedroom furniture.)

The result?  A family that my Southwest Family knew just from living in  the same town got life-changing help from their Southwest Airlines neighbors.  This was not a corporate thing.  It was a St. Louis thing--and they nailed it! 

(New landing from garage)

The amazing thing about this Company is that we are all empowered to try to make our communities better.  We can't help everybody and every effort, but we can help some folks.  And we work at it, and it's worth it! 

(new kitchen)

You can read an article about the effort from the St. Louis Dispatch here.  But all I can say is, GREAT JOB, Team STL.  Once again, you guys have made us proud. You make me proud.

And this really **is** who we are, everyone.  Thanks for reading.





Explorer C
That is an OWN IT moment right there! Way to go STL!
Adventurer C
Love and hugs to our STL Family. You inspire us! Casey
Explorer C
naunnie way to go STL...and all those other warriors in every community we service.
Adventurer B
"Airline" may be off the air now, but it certainly sounds like "EM:SE" took its place. Well-done STL :-) Paul In CRP
Explorer B
I didn't read the Post Dispatch article, but something Bill didn't mention is that this is not the first time St. Louis Employees have done this! "LUV Thy Neighbor" was a project the STL Employees started years ago (even before Ty was on "Trading Spaces"), which benefitted homeowners who lived in the city adjacent to the airport - their "neighbors", if you will. There were roofs repaired, fences fixed, above ground pools removed, flowers planted, floors replaced, porch steps and wheelchair ramps built, and more painting and cleaning done than you could imagine. The SERVANT'S HEART is surely beating strong in STL - way to go, Team! I miss you!