Southwest Airlines has always given back From the Heart. We have had a hand in making a difference in the communities we serve since our inception in 1971 when we served just three cities in Texas. Now, in our 43rd year of service, we have nearly 46,000 Employees and serve more than 100 million Customers annually. As we’ve grown, so has our support of the communities we serve. We’ve always believed that giving back was the right thing to do, and 42 years later, we haven’t wavered on that belief.
We are known for our triple bottom line approach that takes into account our performance and productivity, the importance of our People and the communities we serve, and our commitment to efficiency and the planet. Through these combined outreach efforts, we are proud to have more than 400 community partnerships and memberships of more than 160 business organizations across the country. Additionally in 2012, we donated 44,559 tickets, gave $2,104,871 in monetary donations, and our Employees volunteered a total of more than 137,000 hours.
Annual CLASSY Awards
In 2009, StayClassy created the Annual CLASSY Awards to celebrate the efforts of high impact organizations in the San Diego community. Over the past four years, in partnership with Southwest Airlines and the United Nations Foundation, the CLASSYs have grown into the largest social impact awards ceremony in the US, recognizing the achievements of thousands of exceptional organizations and individuals.
“Our global social landscape is evolving at an unprecedented pace and we’ve seen an increasing need for greater visibility into the successes of the social sector,” said Pat Walsh, cofounder and Chief Impact Officer of StayClassy. “The CLASSY Awards were perfectly positioned to address that need, and have become a mechanism for driving more intelligent funding and support to the most effective nonprofits and social enterprises.”
One of the pivotal milestones in the evolution of the CLASSY Awards was the establishment of the Leadership Council in 2012, an honorary board of globally-recognized leaders responsible for selecting the annual CLASSY Awards Winners. Members include Adam Garone, Co-Founder and CEO of Movember, Charles Best, Founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org, Doug Ulman, CEO of Livestrong, Elizabeth Gore, Chair of the United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council, and Jim Moriarty, CEO of Surfrider Foundation.
“The Leadership Council takes the CLASSY Awards to new heights. As respected and forward-thinking experts in their fields, no group is better equipped to evaluate and determine the organizations that are making the greatest progress addressing social challenges of our time. Their unique perspective and valuable insight has solidified the CLASSYs as one of the highest honors of its kind,” said Julie Landau, Director of the CLASSY Awards Leadership Council.
CLASSY Awards Winners are selected through a comprehensive application and evaluation process that focuses purely on program strategies, outputs, outcomes and growth relative to the social problems being addressed. Last year’s winners included Wounded Warrior Project, Halifax Humane Society, Project Peanut Butter and San Diego-based Invisible Children.
Southwest Airlines has been an integral champion of the CLASSY Awards since its inception. Each year, Southwest grants round trip flights to the Awards Ceremony in San Diego for each of the qualifying Finalists, enabling these leaders to collaborate in cross-sector discussions, exchange ideas and experience the CLASSY Awards firsthand.
“The tickets are such a wonderful way for Southwest to show their support and appreciation for all that these finalists do every day for the world; many of them unpaid and unappreciated and unknown outside their communities. I am a huge fan of Southwest!” said Lorie Marrero, CPO Spokesperson for Goodwill Industries International.
Nominations for the 5th Annual CLASSY Awards open this month. Thousands of influential leaders in the social sector are expected to attend the awards celebration on May 3, 2014 at the San Diego Civic Theatre.
For more information about StayClassy and its great work, please visit www.stayclassy.org