We are committed to helping our communities be more prepared for natural disasters and lend our support in times of need when disasters occur.
Mass Care Task Force
In 2010, Southwest Airlines became the first corporate sponsor of the Dallas-based Mass Care Task Force (MCTF), a disaster-relief organization established in 2006 to better coordinate response to address the devastation that hurricanes Katrina and Rita left in their wakes. The MCTF—a joint effort of the American Red Cross Dallas Area Chapter, North Texas Food Bank, Salvation Army Dallas, and the Volunteer Center of North Texas—estimates disaster relief for major devastations would cost approximately $26 million. Southwest Airlines has committed $345,000 over the next five years toward the effort as well as availability of skill-based volunteers and communication channels for education and recruitment. By participating in this unique collaboration, we support the MCTF’s goal of creating a model that can be used across the country to better prepare our communities for the inevitable catastrophic event.
American Red Cross
Southwest Airlines has long been a strong supporter of the American Red Cross, and in 2010 we continued our commitment through a variety of efforts with both domestic and global impact, we donated $25,000 to support Haiti relief efforts. When flash floods put Nashville, Tenn., under water in May 2010, we delivered 24,000 cans of clean water for distribution and made a $10,000 donation to be available as immediate cash for relief efforts.
We also know that not every disaster has a global or even nationwide effect. Sometimes it’s a family or an entire apartment complex of dwellers displaced by fire that have lost everything, and children are the most delicate of those victims. That’s why Southwest Airlines assembled 5,499 comfort kits for kids, which include toiletries and fun kids’ activities, for American Red Cross chapters in the cities we serve. In addition, we held quarterly blood drives at Headquarters in Dallas to benefit Red Cross blood services.
Project Medishare Amputee Cares Program
In early 2010 when a devastating earthquake destroyed a small country in the Caribbean, Southwest Airlines began to explore opportunities to extend our Servant’s Heart to the citizens of Haiti. Through the Dunspaugh-Dalton Community & Educational Well-Being (CEW) Research Center at the University of Miami, we were able to connect with Project Medishare Amputee Cares Program. This program is a comprehensive, long-term care initiative that will give the people of Haiti who have suffered injuries resulting in the amputation of a limb the opportunity to maximize their functional potential. The program begins with a comprehensive evaluation and screening and continues through the spectrum of care from surgery, prosthetic fitting, and rehabilitation. It also includes support in the return to work or school and to sports, peer mentoring, and education for clinical providers of Haiti.
Through ticket donations, Southwest Airlines makes it possible for the much-needed U.S. volunteers of the program to reach South Florida and join the weekly volunteer teams that deploy to Haiti. Volunteers include doctors, nurses, physical therapists, prosthetics, and others supported by Southwest Airlines who are able to donate their time to provide the rehabilitation care needed by those Haitians wounded by the devastating earthquake. Throughout 2010, Southwest Airlines donated 105 tickets to the cause, placing 95 volunteers in Haiti.