The Colleen C. Barrett Institute for Cultural Excellence & Customer Service

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Heart: The Cornerstone of Culture

Throughout Southwest Airlines’ 50-year history, Heart has always been at the cornerstone of our Culture. Living and working with a Servant’s Heart, creates unique opportunities for special connections with our Customers and our communities. This giving spirit is brought to life by our 56,000+ Employees who put their Hearts in action every day to create meaningful impact where they live and work.

While the Company has experienced a number of challenges and obstacles over the last five decades, none compare to the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic. As I think back to the height of the pandemic, I’m still awe-struck by our Employees and their desire to continue to support our community partners, working on the frontlines, to help individuals and families impacted – all while experiencing their own personal struggles and uncertainty.

So, what did we do to honor our 50th birthday, while still working around-the-clock to stabilize the business? We leaned into our Warrior Spirit and we rallied!

Inspired by our Employees and remaining true to our rich Culture, we launched the One Million Acts of Kindness campaign to show the world our Heart. The campaign was designed to engage our Employees, Customers and communities to inspire a kinder, more compassionate world.

I’m proud to share that we achieved and exceeded our One Million Acts goal (before the end of the year)! There was no doubt our People would go above and beyond to show acts of kindness every day. From participating in virtual volunteer opportunities, to gifting a Coheart with a coffee or lunch, to donating toys to our official 50th anniversary community partner – the Birthday Party Project – it was clear our Heart was beating strong!

Of course, we couldn’t stop there. To celebrate reaching one million acts, we’re paying it forward by awarding 50 nonprofits with a Million Dollars of Thanks. We look forward to sharing how these deserving organizations will use their travel awards to achieve their mission and spread kindness across their communities.

As we close out our 50th anniversary and look ahead to the next 50 years, I’m confident our Culture for serving others with Heart will remain strong as we continue to connect People and champion communities – the Southwest way!


Laura Nieto

Laura Nieto

Director Community Outreach

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