Southwest Airlines has selected 52 nonprofit organizations that will each receive 100 domestic one-way Southwest travel awards to help spread kindness and support their missions. The winning organizations were chosen as part of a contest the carrier launched in September after achieving one million Acts of Kindness in 2021, a goal set to celebrate Southwest’s 50th Anniversary.
“As we reflect on our 50th Anniversary celebration, the one million Acts of Kindness challenge and the One Million Dollars of Thanks contest stand out as particularly memorable programs. They underscore the Heart of our Values for more than 50 years: kindness and following The Golden Rule—treating others as you would like to be treated,” said Linda Rutherford, Executive Vice President People & Communications at Southwest Airlines. “We are inspired by the more than 2,500 organizations that entered the contest and shared their missions with us. We’re grateful for the opportunity to support the selected organizations and the work they are doing in their communities to impact the lives of others.”
The One Million Dollars of Thanks contest offered 501(c)(3) organizations an opportunity to enter to win 100 domestic, one-way Southwest travel awards to spread kindness and fulfill their mission-driven work. The contest initially detailed that travel awards would be given to 50 nonprofit organizations in celebration of Southwest’s 50th Anniversary; however, 52 organizations earned the carrier’s support by receiving perfect scores based on contest criteria. The total travel prize is 5,200 domestic, one-way Southwest travel awards at a value of more than $1 million.
Southwest launched the one million Acts of Kindness challenge in January 2021 to kick off a yearlong celebration of the airline’s 50th Anniversary of its first flight, celebrating half a century of connecting People and championing communities. Participants engaged in the challenge by signing the airline’s Kindness Pledge and committing to complete Acts of Kindness for others. Each signature to the Kindness Pledge and Act of Kindness shared on social media using the hashtag #HeartinAction counted toward achieving the one million Acts of Kindness goal.
The organizations selected to win the travel awards include:
- Armed Services YMCA of Honolulu (YMCA of Honolulu), Honolulu
- Arnold Air Society, Silver Wings and Angel Flight Educational Fund, Sacramento, Calif.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Island County, Oak Harbor, Wash.
- Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, Baltimore
- Canine Companions for Independence, Santa Rosa, Calif.
- Chi Alpha at The University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.
- Children’s Flight of Hope, Raleigh, N.C.
- Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, Inc., Norfolk, Va.
- Colorado Orthodontic Foundation, Denver
- Connecting Point of Park Cities, Dallas
- Cornerstone Foundation, Inc., Hartford, Conn.
- Diversity Center (Santa Cruz Lesbian & Gay Community Center), Santa Cruz, Calif.
- Ed Reed Foundation (Players Philanthropy Fund), Baltimore
- Florida Literacy Coalition, Orlando, Fla.
- Friends Foundation (Friends of Emmaus), Marthasville, Mo.
- Friends of Madison County Child Advocacy Center, St. Louis
- Give Kids The World Village, Orlando, Fla.
- Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc., Williston, Fla.
- HELP of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas
- Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley, Oakland, Calif.
- Healing Odyssey, Inc., Lake Forest, Calif.
- HealthRIGHT 360, San Francisco
- Hearts for Homes, Dallas
- Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation, Atlanta
- LIFEDesigns, Inc., Bloomington, Ind.
- Lincoln Hills Cares, Denver
- Med Center Health Foundation (Commonwealth Health Foundation), Bowling Green, Ky.
- Miracle Flights, Las Vegas
- Mission Centers of Houston, Houston
- Neighborhood Housing Services of Southern Nevada, Inc., Las Vegas
- Open Door Sports Inc., Washington, D.C.
- Patient Airlift Services, Farmingdale, N.Y.
- Peralta Colleges Foundation, Oakland, Calif.
- Port Aransas Education Foundation, Port Aransas, Texas
- Road Trip Home Animal Rescue, Inc., Atlanta
- Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Las Vegas, Las Vegas
- Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana, Louisville, Ky.
- Seeing Higher, Durham, N.C.
- Share the Care, Inc., Orlando, Fla.
- Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation, Grass Valley, Calif.
- SpoofDawg to the Rescue Inc., Orange County, Calif.
- Success 1st, Mantua, N.J.
- Support The Enlisted Project (STEP), San Diego
- The HUGS Foundation, Inc., Rochester, N.Y.
- The Russell Home for Atypical Children, Orlando, Fla.
- The WunderGlo Foundation, Los Angeles
- Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network (TIHAN), Tucson, Ariz.
- United in Autism (DBA Labeled & Loved), Dallas
- Victory Therapy Center, Dallas
- Wheelchairs 4 Kids, Inc., Tampa, Fla.
- Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation (WAIF), Coupeville, Wash.
- Young Hearts Foundation, Fairfax, Va.
In the coming weeks, Southwest will feature some of these organizations and the work they do in a video series on the carrier’s official channels.