DALLAS, March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) today announced the six recipients of the LUV Grants for Good contest at a luncheon and award ceremony held at Zoo Atlanta. The recipients were determined by the public voting online for the favorite videos that the 15 finalists produced on how they would use money to show LUV to the communities they serve. 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.
"All these organizations do so much to improve life in their communities, and we are so fortunate to have learned so much about them through this contest," said Debra Benton, Director of Community Relations and Giving at Southwest Airlines. "Southwest is proud to support the work of these organizations and the passions of the public who chose them."
From a pool of 352 submissions, a panel of judges from the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and Southwest Airlines selected 15 finalists. With more than 15,000 votes cast, the public voting determined these six finalists in three categories, from large to small organizations, based on yearly budget:
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.
Senior Connections: The mission of Senior Connections is to provide essential home and community-based care that maximizes independence. For almost 40 years, Senior Connections has provided 600,000 nutritious meals, 50,000 hours of in-home care, millions of home repair dollars, and health and wellness programs that helps seniors remain in the communities they've called home for decades.
The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership (ABLP): ABLP plays a vital 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.
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.
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 the organization's respect for the value of companion animals.
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.
Also during the luncheon, Southwest announced that the remaining nine finalists in the LUV Grants for Good contest would each receive four Southwest Airlines roundtrip tickets to support the work of their organization.
"We truly admire the passion, work, and commitment that all these non-profits have to make their world a better place – we couldn't let them walk away without showing our appreciation," said Benton.
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 www.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.