JetBlue's Annual Swing For Good Charitable Fundraising Campaign Raises $500,000 for Nonprofit Partners
Customers, Crewmembers and Business Partners Generously Donated Funding to KaBOOM! and First Book to Build Playgrounds and Provide Books to Children in Need
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 11/18/13 -- JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ: JBLU), New York's Hometown Airline, today announced the results of its annual Swing for Good and Bid for Good fundraising campaign, the airline's largest charitable fundraiser of the year. The annual initiative includes the Swing For Good Golf Classic and the Bid For Good online charitable auction. Marking the most successful year to date, crewmembers, customers and business partners joined to raise $500,000 for the airline's non-profit partners -- KaBOOM! and First Book. Each nonprofit partner will receive $250,000 which will enable them to continue their youth-focused initiatives.
This year was the fifth anniversary of JetBlue's Swing For Good and Bid For Good fundraising campaign. Last year, JetBlue donated $420,000 to partners -- KaBOOM! and PBS Kids. Since 2008, the airline has raised more than $1.5 million for a range of nonprofit partners and charitable organizations.
"Our mission is to Inspire Humanity both in the air and on the ground. We're committed to improving lives in the communities we serve and we encourage our business partners and crewmembers to do the same," said Dave Barger, JetBlue's chief executive officer and president. "As JetBlue continues to grow, so does our impact in the community. Our customers and crewmembers have stated that youth and education are most important to them. We're therefore excited to donate $500,000 to KaBOOM! and First Book to build safe playgrounds and provide age-appropriate books to children in need throughout our network."
The Swing for Good Golf Classic began in 2009 to build awareness for JetBlue's various charitable partners. This event began as friendly competition between JetBlue and its business partners to make a difference for children in New York and throughout JetBlue's network. JetBlue then added Bid for Good, powered by Charity Buzz, in 2010 as an extension of the golf outing. Bid For Good provides an online option for those that cannot attend the Golf Classic, providing an invitation to give beyond the golf event.
JetBlue welcomed a new beneficiary this year -- First Book, a non-profit social enterprise that provides access to new books for children in need. Returning partner KaBOOM! is a non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.
"We know that play can transform children -- from sedentary to physically active, bored to mentally active, and solitary to socially active. We also know that when we make sure that our children's lives are filled with play, our communities will be healthier and happier today, and our society will be stronger and more resilient tomorrow," says James Siegal, Executive Vice President and COO of KaBOOM!. "Thanks to the generous support from JetBlue and their business partners, we are one step closer to ensuring that all children get the play they need to thrive today and into the future."
"Books make a critical difference in children's lives, but kids from low-income neighborhoods rarely have books of their own," said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. "Thanks to the generosity of JetBlue's customers and crew, we'll be able to provide tens of thousands of brand-new, high-quality books to kids in need across the country."
JetBlue's commitment extends beyond the annual Swing for Good campaign. The airline will continue to work with KaBOOM! to provide a third playground in an area impacted by Hurricane Sandy to restore play and a sense of normalcy for affected children. JetBlue is also working with First Book to provide 250,000 new books to children in need. The airline recently began service to Worcester, Mass and will soon launch service in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. In partnership with First Book, the airline will provide new reading materials to children in both cities, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy -- access to books.
About First Book
First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 100 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. By making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. For more information, visit First Book online or follow their latest news on Facebook and Twitter.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. Social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! in 1996 in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America because children need to play actively every day at home, in school and in their communities. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 90,000 places to play, built more than 2,300 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Hammond chronicles the founding of the organization and the importance of the cause of play in his TheNew York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: A Movement to Save Play, now out in paperback. The book details how businesses and communities can work together to save play for children across the country. All author proceeds support KaBOOM!. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has an office in San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.
About JetBlue Airways
As New York's Hometown AirlineTM and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando and San Juan, JetBlue carries 30 million customers a year to 80 cities in the US, Caribbean and Latin America with an average of 750 daily flights. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. JetBlue's fleet totals 193 aircraft, comprising 130 Airbus A320s, 3 A321s and 60 Embraer 190s. Upcoming destinations include Detroit, Mich.; Savannah, Ga.; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; and Lima, Peru, subject to receipt of government approval. For more information please visit JetBlue.com.