Collaborating for a Cause: 6 Hotels That Give Back

Sheraton Kuaui Resort

There is a lot of talk about the changing behavior in today’s workforce and how younger generations choose loyalty. Millennial and Gen-Z professionals have claimed they’re more likely to choose a brand for philanthropic reasons than for points systems and memberships.

This attitude is perhaps one reason that more groups are looking for properties that offer CSR opportunities as opposed to traditional team-building exercises that don’t benefit the greater good. There is a rising trend of using time wisely to donate money, resources and services to those in need, which can in turn build strong work relationships and boost overall morale.

Many people want to give their business to companies who have something to offer their communities, and hotels have found myriad ways to do that. Here are six hotels that give back in fun, collaborative ways.

1. In June, The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa donated 3,319 pounds of frozen food to Lowcountry Food Bank, a local food bank that serves the 10 coastal counties of South Carolina.

The donation resulted in the creation of 2,766 meals, according to a press release.

2. Animal Samaritans, a no-kill shelter in Palm Springs Valley, and Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa partnered up to form the Dog Samaritans Adoption Project. The hotel lobby at the resort has been transformed into a temporary home for dogs in need of a family.

A team of caregivers take the dogs for walks and introduce them to the guests while they wait for their perfect matched applicant to stay at the hotel. On August 26, Westin and Dog Samaritan will be celebrating their success of almost 50 adoptions on National Dog Day. The partnership has been working together for a little more than a year.

3. RumFire Poipu Beach at Sheraton Kauai Resort offers the Table 53 Program. All net food and beverage proceeds for the restaurant’s Table 53 is donated to local charities year-round. The restaurant has raised over $150,000 for local charities since the program’s inception in October 2012.

Guests can call and make a reservation for the table in order to help the cause.

4. The staff at Sheraton Tysons Hotel, managed by Crescent Hotels & Resorts, regularly gives back in myriad ways. They recently collected food for the Capital Area Food Bank helping to feed those in need in the Washington, DC area. Nearly 500 pounds of food were collected by the hotel via donations from guests and staff members.

The hotel also raised over $15,000 for the Nova Viva Vets 5K to support veterans in the Virginia area and participated in GO RED to promote awareness that heart disease is the number one killer of women in North America. Most recently, the hotel teamed up with its sister hotels in the area to collect nearly 3,000 Toys for Tots for local underserved kids.

5. Each year, Coast Hotels hosts a golf tournament that raises money for various causes. Last year, the 13th annual Coast Hotels Shuhachi Naito Golf Classic raised a record $72,000, which was donated to The Salvation Army and ALS Society of BC.

“Coast believes in being an active part of our communities, and our annual golf tournament is one way we help make a difference,” Robert Pratt, president of Coast Hotels, said in a press release.

6. Mohegan Sun, whose owners regularly give back to their community, recently hosted a Battle of the Departments Food Drive, in which all food donations benefited the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center in New London. Mohegan Sun reported that 23,003 items of nonperishable food were collected in one month to help feed community members in need.

The Future of Hotels?

Hotels giving back to their communities is nothing new, but as hotel management continues to understands the value in giving back and the importance many potential attendees find in staying at such hotels, it’s likely a trend that will continue expanding. Beach clean-ups, volunteering at nursing homes and soup kitchens, and creating care packages for service members overseas are just some of the ways teams can spend even a single day giving back.

But consider a hotel built on charity. Celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart hopes to do just that with his new endeavor, Purpose Hotel, which he hopes to build into a 200-300-room hotel in Nashville in the next few years, starting with a Kickstarter campaign.

Cowart envisions every detail of the nonprofit hotel having a direct connection to charity. Each room would sponsor a child, with each blanket made by a Bangladeshi woman and each towel made by an Ethiopian woman.

If successful, Cowart said he hopes to grow the brand into an international hotel brand that could raise millions of dollars for nonprofits around the world, such as Compassion International, Mission Lazarus and Fashionable.

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