Sharing the warmth of hospitality with those in need

Volunteerism is an increasingly important aspect of any organization, and hotel companies instinctively know this to be true. Here are the stories of five companies committed to making an impact in local and global communities by harnessing their know-how and mobilizing associates en force. 

Editor’s Note:  These stories first appeared in the recent “Beyond the Boardroom” digital newsletter, sponsored by DIRECTV Hospitality.

Marcus Hotels & Resorts Creates Pink Rooms to Support Cancer Patients MILWAUKEE—While scientists research life-saving treatments and prevention for breast cancer, there is still more that can be done in the lives of women navigating this journey. Taking care of the quality of life of women post-diagnosis is ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, an organization based here, focused not only on the patients, but on supportive family and friends.

“Our founder, Melodie Wilson, was a well-known TV anchorwoman in the metro-Milwaukee market and she gathered survivors to help with the effort. She wanted to make sure we had a name that reflected what we did rather than who founded it,” said Ginny Finn, executive director of the organization.

The InterContinental Milwaukee, which is owned and managed by Marcus Hotels & Resorts, has donated more than $13,000 to ABCD in support of its signature service: free, personalized, one-to-one support for patients, their families and friends. The money is raised through the hotel’s two Pink Rooms—guestrooms designed with the comfort of breast-cancer patients in mind. A portion of the proceeds from each stay in the rooms goes to ABCD. 

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Rosewood Joins Forces with Room to Read to Educate Youth HONG KONG—Education is a fundamental right and necessary to achieve life’s goals. However, in some parts of the world, a solid education remains out of reach.

Since 2000, the nonprofit Room to Read has worked to effect change through programs that support low-income children in early primary and secondary schools on a global scale. Rosewood Hotel Group stepped up to join the mission focused on literacy and gender equality in education.

“Rosewood…is committed to empowering today’s youth through education,” said Sonia Cheng, CEO of Rosewood Hotel Group. “Nurturing the next generation so they can realize their full potential and become a positive force in their communities and the world is of vital importance.” 

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Omni Hotels Raises Money to Say Goodnight to HungeDALLAS—What causes hunger in America? It’s an important question, with numerous answers: poverty, joblessness, the economy are some. In every state, the reality is stark—people are going to bed hungry due to food insecurity. Food security refers to the household-level economic and social condition of reliable access to an adequate amount of food for an active, healthy life for all household members, as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The team at Omni Hotels & Resorts believes no one should go hungry and is committed to serving local communities and beyond through its “Say Goodnight to Hunger” initiative. For every stay booked on its website, the brand has made a donation to help provide dinner for a family of four for an entire week. As a result, Omni has donated three million-plus meals to help Feeding America provide more than 18.2 million meals each year for food banks. 

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For WCG Hotels, Giving has Meaning With Toys for Tots Campaign SANTA MONICA, CA—This holiday season, WCG Hotels invited guests to give a gift that will matter in the lives of kids by partnering with Toys for Tots.

“We started in 2009 and it’s our eighth year. It’s associated with the Marines and it’s a worthwhile cause; the end result is helping children who are in poverty. These are children who typically wouldn’t have a great Christmas,” said Paul Francisco, COO, WCG Hotels, an operator of hotels in the U.S. “I’ve been in this business for 40 years and I’ve seen a lot of opportunities to do charitable work, but this one seems to touch the hearts of employees.” 

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Fairmont Pittsburgh Supports Free Care Fund at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh PITTSBURGH—The holidays can conjure up many thoughts about family. For some, it might be children in matching pajamas all snug in their beds. For others, their thoughts are centered on giving back to needy families in their communities.

To make sure no child was forgotten this holiday season, Fairmont Pittsburgh teamed up with Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation for the second year through various programs, including a holiday happy hour event with gift donations and the Trees of Hope overnight package—both of which benefit the hospital’s Free Care Fund, a program that ensures every child in the region receives the care they need regardless of their families’ insurance or ability to pay. 

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