Holiday spirit with 12 hotels that give back this season

The holidays aren’t just a time for receiving, but for giving as well. Whether you give your time, your money, or physical donations, non-profit organizations near and far are truly grateful for your generosity. It’s not just individuals and families who donate this time of year, however – in the spirit of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” take a look at 12 hotels around the USA. (in no particular order) and how they’re giving back this holiday season.

As if the Teddy Bear Suite at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle isn’t cute enough, the hotel is making the guest experience even sweeter with its philanthropic efforts. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the 1,200 square foot Teddy Bear Suite is available for overnight stays for the first time this holiday season. In addition to the donation of 100% of the proceeds to view the suite during the day, 20% of the overnight rates (from $1,199/night/weekdays, $1,499/night/weekends) will also be donated to the Seattle Children’s Hospital. Over the past two years, nearly $25,000 has been raised for the hospital through daytime viewing alone.

Skating by Sea is a fun way to celebrate the holiday season at Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, and it’s even more fun that the beachfront ice skating benefits Make-a-Wish San Diego. Through in-kind donations such as hosting the non-profit’s Donor Appreciation Night and closing the skating rink just for local Wish Families to enjoy (along with dinner and s’mores on the beach) during Make-a-Wish’s Family Skate Night, as well as a cash gift, The Del’s annual donation will top $25,000 this year. 2016 marks the twelfth year The Del has partnered with Make-a-Wish San Diego in its holiday giving campaign.

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For the second year In Austin, Texas, The Driskill is partnering with the Austin American-Statesman to host Cookies for Caring on December 11, a holiday cookie swap with a twist to benefit the newspaper’s Season for Caring families. Rather than filling cookie tins with goodies baked at home, hotel guests are invited to purchase a tin for $35 and fill it with baked goods from local pastry chefs (including chefs from 1886 Cafe & Bakery, Blackbird Bakery, Bribery Bakery, Four Seasons Austin, Hilton Austin, Hyatt Lost Pines Resort, Hyatt Regency Austin, Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill, Parkside, The University of Texas Golf Club and the flagship Whole Foods store). All proceeds directly benefit families in the Season for Caring program, and past donations have been used to purchase gift cards for groceries, gas, clothing and household items, as well as pay utilities, provide medical and dental care, and even fund higher education and technical training for some. Last year, Cookies for Caring raised $4,000, and the hotel hopes to double the amount this year.

The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans participates in its local Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, and for the second consecutive year, hotel employees are adopting 90 angels and providing Christmases for children who otherwise may not receive anything at all. Each of the 90 angels, or kids, will receive between two and three gifts ranging from clothing and makeup to bicycles and gaming systems through the generosity of The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans team members.

In September, The Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla., held its third annual Christmas in September toy and gift drive during which staff donated 2,300 toys to benefit the children of Urban Youth Impact and Boys & Girls Club of Belle Glade. Over the past three years, hotel team members have donated 6,640 toys. Many of this year’s toys will be available at Urban Youth Impact’s Christmas Store, which gives parents a chance to “shop” for free gifts and toys for their kids; The Breakers team members are volunteering with the store’s set-up.

Through the local Palmetto Goodwill’s Golden Angel Program, the Harbourview Inn in Charleston, South Carolina will purchase and donate brand new blankets to seniors for the first year this holiday season.

Guests staying at Hotel RL Baltimore are invited to join in the hotel’s giving campaign, Project Wake Up Call, to benefit Health Care for the Homeless. With a donation of $100 or more, guests receive a complimentary night’s stay at the Hotel RL location of their choice, and Health Care for the Homeless receives financial support to provide individuals and families with quality, integrated health care, and access to affordable housing and a sustainable income.

For the second year, 1 Hotel Central Park is hosting its 1 Less Thing campaign and the hotel invites its guests to join. In each guest room, a 1 Less Thing donation box is prominently displayed, and guests are encouraged to leave gently used clothing behind. Not only does that clear up space in a suitcase, but the clothing is donated to Housing Works, a non-profit dedicated to ending the dual crisis of homelessness and AIDS. By selling the clothes through a network of 13 thrift store in New York City, Housing Works raises funds to provide lifesaving services for the homeless living with HIV-related illness. A designer dress that sells for $75 in a Housing Works thrift store will in turn provide three weeks’ worth of hot meals for a homeless HIV+ mother and her child. This year, the campaign will run through February to increase its impact.

The Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, outside of Portland, has three ways in which its guests and the inn itself give back to the community. For each December booking, the inn buys and donates books from local school librarians’ wish lists, adding to the schools’ libraries through its Books for a Booking initiative. Brunch with Santa (December 10) was made even more special when kids who brought unwrapped gifts for Toys for Tots ate for free. And the Giving Tree in the inn’s Sea Glass Lounge is decorated with ornaments made by local schoolchildren. Guests are invited to trade an ornament for warm clothes, which are then distributed to local food banks and shelters. The giving continues when the students who made the ornaments are invited back in January to participate in the inn’s People, Planet, Profit program, and then again in the spring to help clean the beach on Earth Day.

Put a pin on the holidays with Ace Hotel’s new Pins for Pals holiday giving program. A pair of pins have been designed to embody each city that Ace Hotel calls home, and are available in the hotels’ shops, as well as online. All proceeds from the Pins for Pals program will benefit local charities in each Ace Hotel community, including Art Start in New York, Assemble in Pittsburgh, Backstreet Cultural Museum in New Orleans, Old Town Artisan Studio in Palm Springs, Reel Grrls in Seattle and Sound Art in downtown Los Angeles (and Create in London).

At each of its 13 locations throughout the USA, Great Wolf Lodge builds life-size gingerbread houses in which families can dine for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner, and all proceeds benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities in communities around the country. Since their inception in 2012, the gingerbread houses have raised more than $65,000.

Throughout its properties in the USA, Omni Hotels & Resorts is encouraging guests to book their travel through its Say Goodnight to Hunger campaign. For each online booking, the hotel brand will make a donation to Feeding America to help provide a family of four dinner for a week. As of the end of November, since the campaign’s inception six months ago in June 2016, the hotel brand has donated enough to provide nearly five million of its goal of 18.2 million meals to support Feeding America, which typically provides food banks with enough to feed more than 46 million kids, families and seniors annually in communities all across the USA.

Source : http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/experience/america/2016/12/12/12-charitable-hotels-holidays/95219968/

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