DALLAS, March 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) today is announcing 15 nonprofit finalists for LUV Grants for Good and opening the second-phase of the contest to public voting. On Feb. 13, to celebrate the start of its service from Atlanta, Southwest announced the launch of LUV Grants for Good, making available $150,000 in grants to six nonprofit organizations from across the State of Georgia. The online essay and video contest was open to 501(c)(3) nonprofits that met the guidelines and rules of the contest.
The 15 finalists produced videos on how they would use money to show LUV to the communities they serve. Public voting on the videos will determine six organizations that will receive grants of $25,000 each. To cast your vote, visit southwest.com/luvgrants
"Giving back is important to us, and opening the contest to the public is ensuring that we are targeting the passion points of the community," said Debra Benton, Director of Community Relations and Giving
From a pool of 352 submissions, a panel of judges from the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and Southwest Airlines selected the following 15 finalists:
The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership (ABLP): ABLP plays a role in realizing the Atlanta BeltLine vision for a network of parks, trails, and transit supporting vibrant, healthy communities. The ABLP catalyzes the social objectives of the Atlanta BeltLine, including affordable housing, job creation, and healthier living.
Atlanta Gay Men's Chorus: For more than a quarter of a century, the chorushas been a voice for diversity and inclusiveness, presenting high-quality musical entertainment that positively represents the gay community while serving the entire community at large.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta (BGCMA): By providing a safe, positive, and engaging environment and programs that prepare and inspire them to achieve Great Futures, the BGCMA saves and changes the lives of children and teens, especially those who need them most. The core areas of BGCMA are Academic Success, Character & Leadership Development and Healthy Lifestyles.
Coastal Counseling Center: Located in the far southeast corner of Georgia, the center provides counseling services primarily for families who either do not have insurance or are under-insured.
enAble:Preparing the workforce of people with special needs who are ready, willing, and able to put forth their best effort for area businesses that are hiring, enAble provides job skills training for adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. enAble trains determined individuals who want to succeed and earn a paycheck just like everyone else.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History:Fernbank is committed to developing the full potential of the community, particularly its youth, by presenting hands-on, minds-on programs that inspire a lifelong interest in science and human culture, and ensure a better environment by connecting people to the natural world. As an educational institution, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History is dedicated to opening people's eyes and broadening their horizons.
Good Mews: Good Mews rescues approximately 350 cats per year, providing spay/neuter and medical care until they are adopted. The goal is to significantly reduce Metro Atlanta's number of stray and homeless cats while promoting a no-kill philosophy that characterizes our respect for the value of companion animals.
Mary Hall Freedom House (MHFH): The mission of MHFH is to improve the quality of life of women and women with children who are affected by homelessness, substance abuse and poverty. MHFH empowers them to break the cycle by providing safe housing, food, clothing, substance abuse, medical and mental health treatment, employment training, therapeutic childcare, and tools to overcome great adversity.
Moorehouse College Entrepreneurship Center: With a history of achievement, the Entrepreneurship Center started a campus-wide Innovation Expo six years ago to provide a platform for interdisciplinary minority undergraduate students and high school students to develop and create their own businesses.
Nuci's Space: The mission of Nuci's Space is to prevent suicide by providing obstacle free mental health treatment to people suffering from depression and other such disorders, and to assist in the emotional, physical and professional well-being of musicians.
Operation Homefront Georgia: Providing emergency and other assistance to families of our service members and wounded warriors, Operation Homefront Georgia is the calm voice with solutions at the ready for Georgia military families when facing a crisis. A crucial part of the program for military families is education and empowerment.
Senior Connections: The mission of Senior Connections, established nearly 40 years ago, is to provide essential home and community-based care that maximizes independence. Senior Connections provides 600,000 nutritious meals, 50,000 hours of in-home care, millions of home repair dollars and a health and wellness programs each year, which helps seniors remain in the communities they've called home for decades.
The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta: The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta provides programs and services in seven key components: Recovery, Shelter, Financial Emergency Services, Youth, Outreach and Education, Elderly Services, and Ministry. They provide help to those men and women who have lost their jobs, their homes, their sobriety, and their hope.
Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (UCR): For 18 years, UCR has worked to ensure this region has enough clean water now and in the future. UCR is the only nonprofit environmental organization focused solely on protecting the most important and heavily-used river in Georgia. UCR has raised the profile of the Chattahoochee and helped guide this region toward meeting the challenges that face our endangered waterway through advocacy, science, policy, education and public outreach programs.
VOX Teen Communications: Atlanta-area teenagers from diverse backgrounds develop skills to express themselves effectively and build a strong community. VOX is both an after-school youth-development program and the region's only citywide youth publication, reaching 90,000 teens metro-wide.
Public voting will end March 18, 2012, and winners will be announced March 22, 2012. Best of luck to all the finalists!
About Southwest Airlines Southwest Airlines continues to differentiate itself from other low-fare carriers—offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service. Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded and has recently acquired AirTran Airways, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Co. Southwest serves 73 cities in 38 states and is one of the most honored airlines in the world known for its commitment to the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet. To read more about how Southwest is doing its part to be a good citizen, visit southwest.com/citizenship to read the Southwest Airlines One Report™. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,200 flights a day and has more than 37,000 Employees systemwide.