At the Make-A-Wish National Office, we focus on providing resources, cost savings and funds to all 61 chapters all across the country. We live to grant wishes. It’s what we do and we’re all so grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to the wish granting process. As a member of the Corporate Alliances team, I am fortunate enough to see the impact both cash and in-kind donations from our corporate sponsors have on a wish.
One of our national corporate sponsors, Southwest Airlines, has generously donated air travel vouchers to our office for the past four years. After we receive the donation of vouchers at our National Office, we then send them out to chapters all across the country, based on their wish travel needs.
This year, Southwest Airlines donated $1 million of travel vouchers to Make-A-Wish – which will be used to grant more than 625 wishes!
Our chapters love this significant resource. Approximately 74 percent of the wishes we grant involve travel, so you can imagine how important these vouchers are to us! As we count each and every voucher, I think about all of the wish kids who will receive their one true wish. I also like to think of the entire cycle each voucher has. They start at Southwest, are sent to us, counted and verified, sent to chapters and presented to wish families before their travel. In my hand I hold a physical representation of something a child wished for – a getaway, an adventure, an incredible travel experience with their family.
Additionally, Southwest employees go to phenomenal lengths to make our wish families feel not only comfortable, but special at airports and on the plane during their travel. In certain airports they even provide front of the line access for our wish families, escorted service through security and warm welcomes aboard planes. Wish families sometimes even meet their pilot and sit in the cockpit for a photo opportunity!
The time Make-A-Wish employees, our volunteers and Southwest employees spend behind the scenes putting the details together is nothing compared to the priceless experiences we are giving wish children. We are so lucky to do what we do!
Check out even more great stories about how Southwest Airlines supports Make-A-Wish kids at the Nuts About Southwest blog!