JetBlue recently announced JetBlue For Good Month, a month of kindness and good deeds taking place in November. Throughout this month of philanthropy, the airline is bringing customers and crewmembers on board to join in giving back. Nearly 300 crewmember volunteers have joined JetBlue and KaBOOM! to build playgrounds in three of JetBlue’s focus cities, restoring play for more than 2,200 children and their families in underserved areas in Boston, Los Angeles, and New York. Over the past 12 years, JetBlue and KaBOOM! have partnered to build 27 playgrounds, providing safe play spaces for more than 60,000 children and their families.
JetBlue For Good focuses on three key pillars – youth and education, community and the environment. Aligned with its community pillar, JetBlue works with partners like KaBOOM! to provide giving and volunteer opportunities that make a positive impact where its customers and crewmembers work and live. Volunteers assemble these playgrounds from start to finish in less than six hours and the spaces are often designed by local children.
Since 2005, JetBlue and KaBOOM! have worked together to fight the deficit of play for children in underserved neighborhoods by creating safe play spaces in cities throughout JetBlue’s network. With the recent playground builds in JetBlue’s New York, Boston and Los Angeles focus cities, 300 JetBlue volunteers have unloaded three tractor-trailers of supplies to build playgrounds utilizing 133,500 lbs (66.75 tons) of mulch and 53,700 lbs (or 26.85 tons) of concrete.
“Play matters and is an important part of a child’s development. It’s essential to the physical, creative, social and emotional development of every child,” said Icema Gibbs, JetBlue’s director of corporate social responsibility. “JetBlue gives back in a variety of ways all year long. During JetBlue For Good Month, we’re showcasing the volunteer work our customers and crewmembers do every day to make a difference. These playgrounds are particularly significant as they were all built during our month-long celebration of good.”
The #JetBlueForGood playground builds have included:
- Boston – BCYF Curley Community Center – This playground build took place as a precursor to JetBlue For Good month on October 26. The BCYF Curley Community Center play space was outdated, worn out and no longer met the needs of the Center’s youth programming. The new playground is based on drawings from local children outlining what their dream playground would look like and will provide a great, safe place to play to more than 1,000 kids in Boston. This is the second BCYF playground JetBlue has helped replace. In July 2016, BCYF Hyde Park Community Center’s Hank Fuoco Tot Lot was replaced with brand new equipment.
JetBlue is the leading airline in Boston, serving as the largest carrier in both number of flights and customers at Boston Logan International Airport.
- Los Angeles – Richstone Family Center – Richstone serves the community as a safe haven and is dedicated to treating and preventing child abuse and trauma; strengthening and educating families; and preventing violence in families, schools and communities. The new JetBlue-funded playground was built on November 1, the first day of JetBlue For Good Month, and will serve as a great, safe place to play for more than 800 local children and their families.
Located in Hawthorne, CA, the Richstone Family center is near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) where JetBlue offers up to 18 daily Mint flights between LAX and New York, Boston and Fort Lauderdale. The addition of Mint has helped JetBlue grow its brand in Los Angeles, with the airline’s overall number of daily flights at LAX doubling since 2014.
- New York City – New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Pomonok Houses – On November 4, twenty five JetBlue volunteers joined other community members and volunteers to help rebuild this play space located in the airline’s home borough – Queens, NY. The playground at Pomonok Houses was last updated in the 1980s, leaving it out of use for a generation of kids who currently travel across busy, traffic-filled streets to access playgrounds in other parts of the community. This playground is the first of dozens being built via the NextGen NYCHA Plays partnership. Through this partnership, more children will have the joyful childhood they deserve.
JetBlue is New York’s Hometown Airline and the only major commercial airline based in New York City and New York State.
“For over 10 years, JetBlue has been essential in helping us bring great, safe places to play to the kids who need it most,” said James Siegal, CEO of KaBOOM!. “We’re excited to see JetBlue kicking off this month by providing thousands of kids across the country with a place to learn, grow, explore and just be kids.”
Why Play You May Ask?
Play is a valuable element important in a child’s development. In other words, #PlayMatters. Today, kids aren’t playing enough—and the consequences are devastating:
- The CDC advises parents to encourage kids to get an hour per day of physical activity
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids get enough exercise and also have an hour per day to unwind, relax and have some simple creative play time
- Researchers at the University of Illinois determined 30 minutes of time in a park setting will help children with ADHD be able to concentrate in the classroom and act more calmly and with more focus at home
JetBlue is a longstanding partner of KaBOOM!, providing long-term guidance and support to KaBOOM! and its mission to promote and protect a child’s right to play.
Want to Join JetBlue During JetBlue for Good Month?
JetBlue is inviting customers to #CheckInForGood and enter to win a complimentary trip to volunteer with some of the airline’s non-profit partners (a). The winners will participate in trips focusing on the three pillars of the JetBlue For Good platform: youth and education, community and the environment.
JetBlue mock check-in kiosks will pop up in surprise locations in New York City and Los Angeles from November 2 – 9, 2017. To enter, entrants can fill out a short questionnaire about what “good” they have to declare at one of the JetBlue kiosks, or online at jetbluecheckinforgood.com through November 10. Based on individual responses, entrants will be matched to causes aligning with JetBlue For Good’s three key pillars and placed on “standby” for an opportunity to win a seat on one of the following volunteer trips departing around #GivingTuesday, the international day of giving kicking off the holiday season.
JetBlue For Good is JetBlue’s platform for social impact and corporate responsibility. Giving back is part of JetBlue’s DNA and is core to its mission of inspiring humanity. Centered around volunteerism and service, JetBlue For Good focuses on the areas that are most important to the airline’s customers and crewmembers – Community, Youth/Education and the Environment.
JetBlue’s core programs and partnerships directly impact the areas where its customers and crewmembers live and work by enhancing education and providing access to those that are traditionally underserved. Signature programs include the award-winning Soar with Reading initiative which has provided more than $2.75 million worth of books to kids who need them most; Blue Horizons For Autism which helps introduce air travel in a realistic environment to families and children affected by autism; and Swing For Good which raises funds for education and youth focused non-profits.