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Southwest Airlines And Build-A-Bear Partner To Take Bear Hugs To New Heights In Celebration Of National Teddy Bear Day 2018
20,000 teddy bears to be donated to Southwest charitable partners; Surprises planned for select flights across the country

DALLAS, Sept. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) and Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., (NYSE: BBW) are taking teddy bear hugs to new heights in celebration of National Teddy Bear Day, which occurs each year on September 9. Together, Southwest® and Build-A-Bear are teaming up to donate 20,000 Build-A-Bear teddy bears to 36 children's hospitals that are recipients of the airline's Medical Transportation Grant Program, as well as Southwest charitable partners: Make-A-Wish® and Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). 

In anticipation of National Teddy Bear Day 2018, the carrier and Build-A-Bear are donating the following:

  • More than 7,100 bears to 91 Ronald McDonald House Charities
  • More than 2,400 bears to Make-A-Wish chapters
  • More than 10,300 bears to 36 U.S. hospitals that are participants in Southwest'sMedical Transportation Grant Program

Additionally, Southwest Employees and Build-A-Bear Workshop® associates are surprising Customers in 10 airports across the country with special Southwest and Build-A-Bear co-branded teddy bears. This is the first time Southwest and Build-A-Bear have teamed up, but the brands began discussing the partnership and designing the special co-branded bear in January 2018.

"At Southwest, we are committed to giving back in the communities where our Customers and Employees live and work," said Laurie Barnett, Managing Director, Communications & Outreach, Southwest. "Through this partnership with Build-A-Bear, we are honored to lend a hand in donating these 20,000 teddy bears to deserving recipients at Ronald McDonald House Charities, Make-A-Wish, and children's hospitals that are a part of the Southwest Medical Transportation Grant Program."

"Our mission at Build-A-Bear is to add a little more heart to life, and there's something so special and heartfelt about the comfort a teddy bear hug can provide," said Sharon Price John, president and CEO, Build-A-Bear Workshop. "We are proud to partner with Southwest Airlines—which, like Build-A-Bear, is an iconic, beloved brand—to take teddy bear hugs to new heights and celebrate one of our favorite holidays in a fun, innovative way."

The Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program has provided air travel to nonprofit hospitals and medical transportation organizations since 2007. To date, Southwest has donated more than $27.6 million in transportation to more than 69,000 patients and caregivers around the country. This year, Southwest is supporting 79 nonprofit hospitals and medical transportation charities located in 41 cities and 26 states.

Since 2016, Build-A-Bear has donated more than 64,000 teddy bears to organizations across the globe in honor of National Teddy Bear Day. Over the course of its nearly 21-year history, Build-A-Bear and its Guests have donated more than $50 million in funds and furry friends to family-centric charities.

To learn more about the partnership and for shareable assets, visit Southwest.com/buildabear. For downloadable assets, including videos and photos, please visit SWAMedia.com.

About Build-A-Bear

Build-A-Bear® is a global brand kids love and parents trust that seeks to add a little more heart to life. Build-A-Bear Workshop has over 400 stores worldwide where guests can create customizable furry friends, including corporately-managed stores in the United States, Canada, China, Denmark, Ireland, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom, and franchise stores in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Mexico and the Middle East. Buildabear.com is the online destination for unique furry-friend gifts, featuring The-Bear-Builder™, a shopping configurator that helps create customized gift options. In 2018, Build-A-Bear was named to the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list for the 10th year in a row.

ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.

In its 48th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 57,000 Employees to a Customer base topping 120 million passengers annually, in recent years. Southwest became the nation's largest domestic air carrier in 2003 and maintains that ranking based on the U.S. Department of Transportation's most recent reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded. During peak travel seasons, Southwest operates more than 4,000 weekday departures among a network of 99 destinations in the United States and 10 additional countries. Southwest has announced its intention to sell tickets in 2018 for service to Hawaii, subject to requisite governmental approvals.

Southwest coined Transfarency® to describe its purposed philosophy of treating Customers honestly and fairly, and low fares actually staying low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free® to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some carriers offer free checked bags on select routes or in qualified circumstances), and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply.

As launch customer of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 in North America, the Company operates the largest fleet in the world of Boeing aircraft. Customers who connect to the WiFi network may use their personal devices to view on-demand movies and television shows, as well as nearly 20 channels of free, live TV.

With a bold new look first unveiled in 2014, Southwest is progressing through a multi-year refresh of its fleet to showcase the carrier's Heart: a new logo, aircraft livery, interior design featuring new seats, Employee-designed uniforms, and an updated airport experience, all of which showcase a dedication of Southwest Employees to connect Customers with what's important in their lives.

From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as "The Southwest Effect," a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic wherever the carrier serves. With 45 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2017 Southwest Airlines One Report can be found at SouthwestOneReport.com.

Book Southwest Airlines' low fares online at Southwest Airlines or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.

 

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SOURCE Southwest Airlines Co.

Visit the Southwest Newsroom at swamedia.com for multi-media assets and other Company news., Media Relations Team: 214-792-4847, option 1