Going The Extra Mile to Save Lives

Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program Returns
Aug 9, 2012 9:00 PM ET

Imagine a child has a tumor that requires travel across the country each year for treatment. The parents declared bankruptcy, lost their home, and their car. How do they afford travel?

For a woman from Lexington, KY, air time is more than just a flight to St. Louis where she can receive treatment at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Air time is a second chance at life, despite multiple lung transplants.

Two children traveling to be fitted for leg braces find hope and relief from Denver Employees willing to go above and beyond to make their trips as comfortable as possible.

These examples are a mere glimpse into the thousands of lives who have received complimentary transportation through Southwest Airline’s Medical Transportation Grant Program.  Today, Southwest is accepting applications from hospitals and medical transportation charities to participate in the 2013 program.  To join the more than six dozen organizations nationwide, nonprofits can apply online by visiting southwest.com/medicalgrant now through Sept. 30.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll share more heartwarming stories where we’ve had the privilege of making a positive difference. The photos attached are some emotional and impactful photographs taken by photographer Robert X. Fogarty and Dear World that help convey the message of hope, the importance of the Medical Transportation Grant Program for patients and caregivers, and Southwest’s commitment to making a difference.

Over the past five years, we’ve been humbled to lessen the burden of travel expenses for nearly 20,000 families who are facing serious illness through this unique program by donating roundtrip tickets to nonprofit hospitals and medical organizations.  In 2012, Southwest provided more than $2.4 million in free transportation to more than 70 hospitals and organizations nationwide.

We hope that the caring attention of our Employees and the travel assistance helps ease the difficulties for these patients and families who are already going through so much.  The opportunity to use our airplane seats for good and our Employees’ Servant’s Hearts are just another reason why I LUV working for a Company that cares so much for the people who live in the communities we have the privilege of serving.