When you’re sitting at the negotiating table, it’s easy to forget that hoteliers aren’t just bottom-line hawks; they’re also vital members of the hospitality—and human—community. Here are just of few of the ways some hotels are giving back.
- More than 30 lodging establishments in Stowe, Vt., gave away hundreds of hotel rooms to cancer patients, survivors, and family members last month so that they could attend the area’s first Weekend of Hope. The goal of the two-day program, which was organized by the Stowe Area Association, was to raise money to fight cancer and educate the public about new treatments, the rudiments of living with cancer, nutrition, prevention, and the ins and outs of insurance.
"The purpose of the Weekend of Hope was to bring people with cancer and their families together to celebrate life," says event organizer Patti O’Brien, MD, who is also a breast cancer survivor. "Like most journeys, the cancer journey is easier with the support of friends." Including those in the hospitality community who opened their doors, and their hearts, to attendees.
- Hotels in more than 25 states are participating in Project Debby, which connects battered women who need shelter with hotels that have available sleeping rooms. Started in 1991 by Naomi Berman-Potash, who was a hotel executive at the time, Project Debby also coordinates hotel donations of mattresses, sheets, dishes, and other items to battered women’s shelters. More than 3,000 women have found emergency shelter through the project so far.
- Earlier this year, Hilton Hotels Corp. introduced its Random Acts of Service program, which encourages employees at more than 225 Hilton hotels and resorts to time and talent with local citizens, civic leaders, and community organizations. Hilton asked each hotel team member to commit to at least 20 acts of service during 2002. The goal is to achieve 1 million random acts of service throughout North America by the end of 2002.