True generosity isn’t an occasional event, it’s a regular occurrence that helps to shape the minds and hearts of everyone involved. Here is an inside look at the humanitarian efforts of the hospitality industry and the individuals continuously striving to make an impact in local and global communities where they operate.
Editor’s Note: These stories first appeared in the recent “Beyond the Boardroom” digital newsletter.
Holiday Inn Dayton Fairborn says ‘welcome home’ to refugees
DAYTON, OH—At numerous protests, there are signs held high that read “Refugees welcome here.” It’s at once a political statement and a beacon of safety. The arrival of refugees in the U.S. has become a hot-button issue that has reached critical mass. For the staff at the Holiday Inn Dayton Fairborn here, helping refugees is less a political act than a genuine desire to do what feels right. As volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, the hotel’s sales team put in work to help construct a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Fairborn, OH, for a family from Rwanda.
“I remember reading about the genocide in Rwanda, people fleeing here and their struggles. The family we’re building the house for…the father is a veteran. He served in the U.S. Army and drove trucks in Afghanistan. He is a person who escaped hardship in his own country and then served ours; knowing that makes it extra special for us,” said Caitlin Garber, business transient sales manager, Holiday Inn Dayton/Fairborn. “Habitat for Humanity branched out into Greene County where our hotel is located and Kim Schaaf, Habitat’s donor relations specialist, gave us information about the family. We thought it was a great fit and how wonderful to help out. We were so excited to do the build.”
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Baymont Inn & Suites’ hometown hosts shine light on I/DD
PARSIPPANY, NJ—A brand self-described as rooted in hometown hospitality, Baymont Inn & Suites is not only focused on the needs of its guests, but also the local communities where the hotels operate. In December, the brand forged a partnership with The Arc, a national advocacy group for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD)—including autism and Down syndrome—to raise awareness and help individuals find gainful employment.
“We have positioned Baymont Inn & Suites as the neighbor next door. The hotels are in small towns across America. When you think about what a good neighbor really is, it’s a comfortable place to go and chat and support the local community. Being that reliable place is a source of comfort,” said Lisa Checchio, VP of brand marketing, Wyndham Hotel Group. “When you look at what The Arc does in terms of serving needs across communities, putting to work talented individuals with I/DD and being a good citizen, it makes the community better and aligned perfectly with what Baymont stands for. We are in more than 400 neighborhoods and The Arc has 700 local and state chapters.”
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Design firm helps homeless find a warm, safe haven
DALLAS—Imagine you are homeless. It’s a situation not limited to drug addicts or the poverty stricken. There are many circumstances that can lead to becoming homeless such as joblessness, a lack of family support or displacement due to a natural disaster. In 2015, 564,708 people were homeless on any given night in the U.S., and of that number, 206,286 were people in families and 358,422 were individuals, according to findings by the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
Reggi Nichols and Andrea Waldrop of interior design firm waldrop+nichols studio, based here, believe in “designing a space to try to make an impact for all who will experience it.” With that in mind, they were drawn to volunteering and eventually striking up a partnership with Dwell with Dignity, a nonprofit dedicated to creating soothing, inspiring homes for families struggling with homelessness and poverty. The union was an ideal match.
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AmericInn gives a heaping of hope to sick children
MINNEAPOLIS—Children fighting a life-threatening disease have the ability to touch hearts through their sheer bravery and determination. Seeking to cultivate hope when an illness makes life seem hopeless is AmericInn through its charitable program, AmericInn Cares. The brand unites as a company to support a single cause twice a year, and for the third year, it has sponsored Give Kids The World’s Scoops of Hope initiative.
“It was before my time here that the company researched a variety of organizations, and Give Kids The World was most aligned with our values and our defined DNA to be caring and involved in the community,” said Mark Masuda, VP of marketing, sales and distribution, AmericInn. “While Give Kids The World is based in Florida and it’s where the kids go, we don’t have our hotels there, but the kids that go there are from states and cities where our guests are coming from. We thought it was a good fit and we’re going on our fourth year in 2017.”
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Coral Hospitality tees up to serve community causes
NAPLES, FL—Golfers, whether a beginner or pro, know that the game has a way of bringing people together. Coral Hospitality, a full-service hospitality management and investment company specializing in resorts, hotels, residential communities and golf clubs, has launched its new philanthropic arm, CoralCares, to raise money and awareness for organizations that are aligned with its values.
With a sincere commitment to get involved and give back to the community, the company selected two organizations to lend their support to: Folds of Honor, which provides educational scholarships to children and spouses of fallen and disabled service members; and the Georgia Natural Resources Foundation (GNRF), a nonprofit that strives to conserve the state’s natural, historic and cultural resources.
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