The nature of hospitality has, at its very root, the caring for one another. A generous spirit and sincere concern for another individual is what makes hospitality professionals great at what they do. With that in mind, it is no surprise that charity seems to come naturally to those who have built their careers taking care of others.
In the midst of the season of giving, I wanted to share with our readers some the charities I have come across within the industry. This is far from being a complete list – most hotel groups and individual hotels have many ways to give back on a local and global scale.
- Hospitality Action has been around for over 170 years. According to the history published on their website, they were originally founded as the “London Coffee House Keepers Association” for the purpose of providing relief to aged members of the trade, and their widows and orphans. They now provide all manner of support for hospitality workers who need it, including financial counseling, grants for essential items, and support for retired workers. They lend a hand to individuals in times of crisis related to health, domestic violence, and many others.
- The Global Soap Project is working to distribute left over soaps from hotels to populations around the world. According to their website, and estimated 2.4 million children die each year from hygiene and sanitation related illnesses. This group partners with hotels to collect unused soaps in large proportions, recycle it into new bars, and, working with organizations already in place, put soap in the hands of those who otherwise would not have access to it. I have had the pleasure of speaking with some of these great people, and I’m hoping to share more about them in the near future.
- Hotels that Help brings hotels, staff, and guests together for the benefit of local charities. The hotel staff chooses the local charity they want to support, and the hotel invites guests to contribute one dollar per night. This is a quickly-growing group and have so far provided funds for breast cancer research, support of the homeless, stray pets, and many children’s charities.
- The Hospitality Trust, based in Ireland, aims to support current and previous hospitality and catering workers who find themselves in need of financial assistance. Funds are provided through donations, corporate sponsors, and events, and are distributed to those in need through an application process.
- Tourism Cares is a unique group that gives financial assistant to tourism-related sites around the world, provides grants toward the education of future travel professionals, and brings tourism professionals together to volunteer in clean-up and restoration projects, all with the intent of preserving the travel experience for the future.
- CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees, Ltd.) is a non-profit organization that provides benefits to children of restaurant employees by fulfilling their wishes and needs. Supported by many hospitality groups and suppliers, CORE has raised over $500,000 since it began in 2004.
- There is still a lot of work to do after Hurricane Sandy, and hotels in the area are still doing their part to help in their communities. Hop on over to Hotel Chatter for a list of hotels donating a portion of room sales to the American Red Cross.
Alright, readers, now it’s your turn. What hospitality charities do you like to support?