Evolution of Community Outreach: It Has Always Come From the Heart


At Southwest, we live by the Golden Rule—it’s at the heart of everything we do.  When we started out more than 41 years ago, it was the support, generosity, and sacrifices of our Employees and Customers that got us through the turbulence of the early years.  We haven’t forgotten our beginnings and have never taken relationships—with Employees, Customers, and our Communities—for granted. Today, although much has changed in how we operate, Southwest has always stood for Community, and today that commitment is as strong as ever.

Southwest has supported our communities since the very beginning. Through the decades, Southwest has believed in doing the right thing, and it always comes From the Heart:

1970’s: Southwest’s concern for our communities debuts by participating in the United Fund Campaign, a fundraising drive supporting the United Way. 

From The Heart

1980’s: The Airline that LUV built adopts the House that LUV built, and Ronald McDonald Houses become our primary charity with an annual LUV Classic Golf Tournament to raise money for Houses nationwide. 

From The Heart 1980

1990’s:  Southwest kicks off the “Adopt-A-Pilot” program for fifth-grade students, a national program where fifth-graders learn about goal-setting, applying their curriculum to real-life jobs, and seeing aviation through the eyes of the hundreds of Pilots who volunteer. 

From The Heart

2000’s: In an effort to further build and nurture relationships in the community, we became a member of at least one Chamber of Commerce in each city where Southwest flies.  Additionally, Southwest Airlines, in conjunction with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) created an annual “Lánzate/Take Off” education travel award program where more than 1,500 students from across the nation submit an essay about why they are pursuing a college degree and how the travel award would help them achieve their goals.

From the Heart

2010’s: To celebrate Southwest’s 40th anniversary, we teamed up with the Student Conservation Association to take our volunteerism on the road, and complete 40 conservation projects across the nation.

From The Heart

One thing remains constant—we may be an airline, but we do some of our best work on the ground by making a positive difference in our communities, and it always comes from the heart.  We believe in bringing people together, inspiring change, and making a difference in people’s lives. We support global and national nonprofit organizations, champion our own Southwest Airlines giving programs, and encourage individual Employees and community members to volunteer and advocate for the causes they believe in most.

I encourage you to check out our new community ad showing how Southwest gives from the heart by visiting or hear first-hand from one of our Employees who was featured in the ad by visiting

How do you give from the heart in your community? Let us know by commenting below.