Today in celebration of #GivingTuesday and JetBlue’s commitment to volunteerism and community service, the airline flew a plane full of do-gooders to “Destination Good,” the Dominican Republic. Winners of JetBlue’s #CheckInForGood contest were so committed to good, they agreed to join JetBlue on a volunteer trip during JetBlue For Good Month without knowing the destination. Volunteers arrived at New York’s JFK International Airport and were surprised with the reveal of the location just moments before boarding JetBlue’s newest special livery – JetBlue For Good.
Nearly 100 volunteers including contest winners and their guests took off for the Dominican Republic to participate in a four-day service trip alongside some of JetBlue’s crewmembers and non-profit partners, with projects taking place in La Romana and Punta Cana. JetBlue is the largest airline serving the Dominican Republic since it first started service to the island destination in 2004.
Volunteers were surprised with a special send-off at JetBlue’s Terminal 5, as the airline also revealed its new JetBlue For Good aircraft. This plane celebrates the hundreds of thousands of hours JetBlue crewmembers have dedicated to doing good in the airline’s 100+ communities.
“We’re excited to celebrate and empower our customers and crewmembers to join us in doing good,” said Icema Gibbs, director of corporate social responsibility, JetBlue. “We picked Giving Tuesday, the international day of giving, to send volunteers on a service trip to give back in one of our key communities – the Dominican Republic – to symbolize all of the good we do throughout the year.”
On the ground in “Destination Good” – Once the JetBlue For Good aircraft lands in the Dominican Republic, volunteers will take part in three days of volunteerism with each day dedicated to one of JetBlue For Good’s pillars: youth and education, community and the environment. Activities will include projects ranging from renovating a local school, to beautifying a community play space and building buoys to protect coral reef beds.
Details on the JetBlue For Good pillars and Destination Good service project include:
- Youth and Education – In partnership with The Dream Project, an organization that provides quality education in the Dominican Republic, Destination Good volunteers will help renovate a school which helps children with disabilities prepare to transition to general school. In addition to a new roof provided by JetBlue, volunteers will repaint the facility, renovate the library and host a book fair for local children and families.
- Community – Supporting the Paradisus by Meliá, which is launching a ”Volunteer Vacations” program for resort guests in 2019, Destination Good volunteers will be making much-needed updates to a local school, including the addition of a play space for the community children. Together, the group will be beautifying the surrounding wall with a large paint project, as well as upgrading the existing basketball court. A donation of basketballs and other play equipment will be made to the school.
- The Environment – In collaboration with Fundemar, an organization dedicated to the conservation of marine ecosystems of the Dominican Republic, volunteers will assist in building 65 buoys that will protect coral reef beds. Coral reefs are gravely threatened by climate change and other pressures such as marine pollution. In 2012 FUNDEMAR started a program of coral reef restoration, which includes coral nurseries, rescue centers and transplant zones, as a mechanism to promote the coral’s resilience to climate change.
The new JetBlue For Good branded aircraft – Good is in JetBlue’s DNA. At the center of the plane’s paint scheme are sketches of crewmembers who power JetBlue’s mission of Inspiring Humanity® each day. Designed by a cross-section of crewmembers representing the airline’s mission, the plane showcases JetBlue For Good’s three pillars.
“Our mission and focus on giving extends well beyond just one day,” said Gibbs. “The new JetBlue For Good aircraft was designed to inspire our customers and crewmembers throughout our network to think about what they can do to make their community a better place.”
The Airbus A320 aircraft will spread the message that JetBlue is up for good as it travels throughout the airline’s network in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. The livery depicts crewmembers peeling back a curtain to reveal an array of illustrations symbolizing the airline’s unique culture and many of the causes JetBlue and its customers and crewmember are passionate about including:
- JetBlue’s DNA
- Heart: The airline’s Caring and Passion values.
- Ladder: Everything laddering up to JetBlue’s mission-driven purpose.
- Seesaw: JetBlue For Good’s pillars.
- Youth and Education
- Test Tubes, Computer Code, Magnifying Glass, Backpack, Paper Airplane, Pencil: Represents the airline’s and the JetBlue Foundation’s focus on nurturing the next generation of aviators with in-kind support, mentoring, internships and other initiatives.
- Star: Showcases the unique opportunities JetBlue creates to help fulfill dreams through partnerships with organizations like Make-A-Wish.
- Books: Through its Soar With Reading program, JetBlue has provided more than $3.1 million of books to kids in areas known as book deserts, areas where children have limited access to books.
- Hammer, Shovel, Swing: Over the past 12 years, JetBlue has built 29 playgrounds together with its partners at KaBOOM!
- Shoe: Represents the many charity walks, runs, bike rides and parades JetBlue’s crewmembers proudly participate in each year.
- Puzzle piece: Represents JetBlue’s Blue Horizons for Autism initiative, in which crewmembers help individuals with autism better prepare for future travel.
- Environment Recycling decal: Showcases JetBlue’s commitment to onboard recycling.
- Growing plants, Leaf, Flower/Rain: Encourages a healthy planet through programs like GreenUp™.
- Coral Reefs/Ocean Clean Up: Inspires support for and preserving natural resources to keep our business running smoothly.
JetBlue launched its second annual #CheckInForGood contest in October, inviting U.S. customers to #CheckInForGood for the chance to roll up their sleeves and volunteer with JetBlue and its non-profit partners Destination Good – an undisclosed mystery destination. The contest received more than 40,000 entries from customers who were eager to share why doing good and volunteering is important to them.
JetBlue selected the Dominican Republic as the surprise destination to build upon the variety of efforts it has conducted over the years in the five destinations it serves throughout the island.
All-inclusive accommodations for Destination Good volunteers in the Dominican Republic are being provided by Paradisus Palma Real Resort in Punta Cana.