Southwest Airlines has always been devoted to the communities that we serve. Thousands of times each year, Southwest Airlines and its Employees reach out to individuals, families and entire communities providing help where it is needed. Most donations are invisible – except to the people they affect.

This month I am proud to showcase the San Diego Center for Children. With a partnership of over 25 years, Southwest Airlines and the Center have worked together to enhance programs and initiatives that provide quality care for children and their families. Their work mirrors the Principles we live by at Southwest Airlines: Maintain the self-confidence and self-esteem of others; Maintain constructive relationships; Take the initiative to make things better; and Lead by example. More importantly, the Center heals hearts and minds of children, adolescents and their families and care givers!

San Diego Center for Children

Celebrating 133 years of Transforming Lives and Restoring Hope

Founded in 1887, the San Diego Center for Children is San Diego’s oldest children’s nonprofit organization, serving youth struggling with mental, emotional or behavioral health challenges. The Center provides evidence-based therapeutic, specialized education and critical life skills services to more than 1,000 underserved individuals each day across 8 program sites and within hundreds of homes and schools across the county.

Building on their tradition of sustainability, growth and impact, the Center responds to the needs of our community by providing easier pathways for families to access a continuum of mental health care. They recognize and understand the long-standing need in the community for a more integrated approach to serve the increased needs of children with behavioral health challenges and their families.

In an effort to expand the scope of mental health services being provided to families the Center, in collaboration with Rady Children’s Hospital – San Diego, is launching new services to enhance San Diego’s mental health care.  These services include: Collaborative Care in pediatric practices, Crisis Support and Intensive Family Therapeutic Services (In-home and Wraparound), and an Intensive Outpatient Program. These new programs will complement the Outpatient, School-based and Residential Treatment services the Center already provides.

“We understand that in order to create lasting change and help a child reach their potential through our quality therapeutic and educational services, it is important to strengthen their family as well,” says Moisés Barón, Ph.D., President and CEO of the San Diego Center for Children.  “This new partnership with Rady Children’s Hospital will help us create the first of its kind integrated continuum of care in our community”.

With a partnership of over 25 years, Southwest Airlines and the Center have worked together to enhance programs and initiatives that provide quality care for children and their families. Just recently, Southwest Airlines stepped up to support out-of-state or out-of-region military families by providing airline vouchers to be used for flights to attend monthly family therapy visits while their child is receiving services within the Center’s short-term residential treatment program.

On May 2, 2020 the San Diego Center for Children’s 133rd Anniversary Celebration, Cherishing the Joys of Childhood, will take place at the Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall.  Southwest Airlines will be honored as the recipient of the Center’s 2020 PATH Award – a distinguished and annual acknowledgement of Partners in Achieving Transformation and Hope. The PATH Award recognizes supporters and partners to the organization who have made an outstanding impact, celebrating extraordinary contribution and transformative outcomes.

“Southwest Airlines’ partnership with the Center has been remarkable.  Through volunteerism, workplace giving, corporate sponsorship and much more, Southwest has made a significant impact in the lives of children and families we serve” says Barón. Funds raised from this event will support the Center’s vital programs, providing therapeutic and educational services to children and families struggling with mental, emotional and behavioral health challenges.

With Linda and Mel Katz returning as Honorary Chairs, this fun and inspiring night will include gourmet food and drink stations, exclusive live auction experiences and a special performance by the Center’s youth choir.

Event sponsors include SDG&E, Southwest Airlines, McGriff Insurance Services, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, City National Bank, Manpower, Dowling & Yahnke, MEPCor Inc., HUB International, RPS Monument, Moss Adams LLP., Watkins Wellness and Holland America Line.