We believe in living responsibly, respecting our resources, and sharing our Heart with others—and our Repurpose with Purpose initiative is a great example of these beliefs in action. Through this initiative, we partner with likeminded organizations to upcycle, downcycle, and recycle thousands of pounds of our discarded items and materials into useful products that change lives. Since 2016, we have repurposed more than one million pounds of our aircraft seat covers through the program, helping to minimize our environmental impact while maximizing our social impact.
Southwest and Arise Veteran Foundation, a Repurpose with Purpose Partner, are proud to work together with Help Heal Veterans to assist those who served. Through the program, we supply leather from our used aircraft seat covers that Help Heal Veterans turns into craft kits that veterans can use to make items like footballs, belts, wallets, and wristbands.
The kits give veterans a creative outlet and offer important therapeutic and rehabilitation benefits. Help Heal Veterans works with clinicians and veterans to make sure that the kits address veterans’ unique needs, and the kits often become part of formal rehabilitation treatment plans. Through our partnership, thousands of lives have been touched and more than 90,000 pounds of leather from Southwest seat covers have been given a new life and a new purpose.
Since Help Heal Veterans was founded 47 years ago, the organization has provided more than 31 million therapeutic arts and crafts kits to veterans. Kits are produced by veterans and military family members in Winchester, California, and have been distributed to more than 18 million service men and women to date. Partnerships with the Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Centers, military hospitals, senior living facilities, and veteran’s transitional programs allow Help Heal Veterans to reach over 200,000 veterans each year. To learn more about the Help Heal Veterans organization, please visit their website at healvets.org.
We are excited to continue working with partners like Arise and Help Heal Veterans as we seek to do more good, while reducing our waste stream. Because our Heart is to take care of People—while looking after our Planet.