As a Southwest Airlines Mechanic, I spend my days working on Southwest’s all-Boeing 737 fleet. Three years ago, I was given the opportunity to roll up my sleeves to work on a completely different kind of project—a project that would require many hours off the clock, creativity, and most of all, a passion for making a difference in a child’s life.
I first heard of the project from Southwest’s Community Relations and Giving Team, and I immediately knew I wanted to help. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is an organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of abused children across the nation. Each year, CASA hosts a Parade of Playhouses to raise money for the organization. While Southwest had always wanted to be involved, they needed someone equipped with the necessary skills to design and construct a playhouse for children. This is where I come in.
I spoke to Maintenance & Engineering’s Union, AMFA Local 11, who championed the idea wholeheartedly and committed to provide $2,500 each year to purchase the supplies needed to build the playhouse. Next, we spoke to Leadership and received their enthusiastic support. My fellow co-hearts all shared the same Servant’s Heart that makes our Company so special and agreed to help with the playhouse for the past three years, the support of our Leaders and Employees has not wavered, and their commitment has proved invaluable.
This year, the Team wanted to take the design back in time. Inspired by fighter planes from my time served in the military, we designed a completely unique playhouse that was SWA-Spirited, and made especially for small children. We named the project “Redwood One,” since the playhouse is made of redwood and is the very first of its kind.
On July 31, our many hours of work on Redwood One came to an end as the playhouse departed Southwest Airlines Headquarters and headed towards NorthPark Center where the CASA Parade of Playhouses will be on display from August 3 through August 19. I hope you will take the time to visit the Parade of Playhouses if you live or are visiting Dallas- not only to see the work of our Maintenance Team, but also to support CASA.
Participating in the CASA Parade of Playhouses is truly a Team effort. I feel privileged to work with passionate Employees and dedicated Leaders who understand the importance of doing everything in our power to make a difference in not just one child’s life, but countless others.
The Parade of Playhouses will be on display at NorthPark Center Aug. 3 through Aug. 19. To participate, mall-goers can purchase a raffle ticket either in person or online at dallascasa.org. Tickets are $5 each or five for $20.