Sunday, March 25, 2007

...More About Southwest's Involvement Within The Community!!!

"Citizen service is the very American idea that we meet our challenges not as isolated individuals but as members of a true community, with all of us working together…"— former President Bill Clinton

Southwest Airlines loves to spread their company spirit. Southwest's "Share the Spirit" is spread throughout all the communities they serve. Southwest does not have a foundation, they work on several community enhancing projects. The company works together to help those in need within the community, they strive to become part of the community.

A quote from Southwest's community service page states, "Southwest Airlines has always been devoted to each and every community that we serve. Our Employees, Customers, and neighbors make the Southwest Family the LUVing place that it is and we are proud to offer our cities more than just friendly and affordable air service. We offer our hearts!"

Southwest's community service programs would not be made possible without their employees. The employees are heavily involved in helping the communities Southwest serves. The community service programs that the company takes part in reflects highly on their reputation. By helping the communities they serve, Southwest proves that they care about their customers and would go out on a limb for them if they were ever in need. They want to give back to their customers. The company has many programs that are all unique in their own way, the programs are all different in order to help a variety of people in need. The public can become aware of the company's efforts through their website and the news. Southwest has a Community Service section on their website that explains all their programs in detail.

Southwest teams up with many organizations to help make community events possible. Some of the organizations Southwest has lent a helping hand to are...

  • The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) - Southwest teams up with HACU to provide round trip airline tickets to Hispanic students with socio-economic needs. The airline tickets that Southwest provides enables students to leave home to travel and get a higher education.
  • Long Island 2-Day - Southwest joins the LI2Day 35 mile walk to help support the fight against breast cancer.
  • Operation Healthy Heart (OHH) - Southwest helps OHH campaign to help save the lives of Vietnamese children who are in need of heart surgery. Together, Southwest and OHH help to financially assist the children in need. The program has currently assisted over 1,200 children in Vietnam.
  • Habitat for Humanity - Southwest employees team up with Habitat for Humanity in Dallas to help with the landscaping of newly renovated homes to give back to the community.

Southwest offers many community service programs and they have been recognized for their contributions within the company. Here are some of their Corporate Citizenship Awards listed on their website....

  • 100 Best Corporate Citizens, 2000 to 2005, awarded by Business Ethics for service to seven stakeholder groups.
  • Eddie Garcia Partnership Award for "Flight to Fight Hunger," 2005, by Texas Association of Second Harvest Food Banks.
  • Performance Through People Award, 2004, from The Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement, Northwestern University. The award honors companies that successfully capitalize on the human interactions that impact a company's long-term growth.
  • Camaraderie, 2003, The Great Place to Work Institute honored Southwest for our exemplary display of camaraderie.
  • Salvation Army Volunteer Partner of the Year, 2002, in appreciation to Southwest Airlines for helping to build the caring community in partnership with The Salvation Army.
  • Civic Award of Excellence, 2002, given "for establishing a philosophy and setting the industry standard in your commitment toward your Employees…"
  • Employer Support Freedom Award, 2001, in recognition of employers for employment policies and practices that are supportive of their Employee's participation in the National Guard and Reserve.
  • Corporate Citizenship Award, 2000, awarded for Southwest’s dedication, commitment and leadership in promoting Employee Relations.

One of Southwest's programs is called "Adopt-A-Pilot." The four week program is designed to help fifth grade classrooms around the country gain a "sky high" education. Through the program, students are united with Southwest Pilots who help them to better understand math, science, geography, history and creative writing. The students are given situational problems which they apply to aviation. Students at this age are often intrigued by aviation and applying it to their subjects helps them to become more eager to learn.

Southwest also helps people who are less fortunate. Every year Southwest employees support National Hunger Awareness Day in Texas. The employees get together and help feed 80,000 hungry families. They put a lot of time into packing food boxes, this really helps to make a difference in the community.

Southwest also helps out burn victims through the Parkland Burn Camp. Throughout the past 12 years they have raised over $100,000 for the camp. The camp enables children to be surrounded by other children who are burn victims, this helps the children interact with others and not feel self conscious. This camp helps the children to build self esteem and heal both mentally and physically. Southwest employees lend a helping hand each year to make this annual event a success.

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