Looking at all the different volunteer activities hotels are participating in during - and beyond - our month-long Global Volunteer Initiative, it's inspiring to see the ways our associates choose to give back.
For example, associates at Hyatt Regency Atlanta and the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead teamed up with The Global Soap Project, a new nonprofit that takes discarded soap from hotels and reprocesses it in into new bars that can be distributed to where soap is needed around the world. A large number of our hotels, including the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, donate their soap through programs like The Global Soap Project and Clean the World, but this past week the Atlanta associates got a chance to help make the new soap bars themselves:
Christina Snipe, an associate at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta, said her favorite part of the day was being able to back up what we were already donating to with hands on time.
Some projects are brand new, but others are ongoing. This year marks Hyatt Regency Cologne's fifth year partnering with the Pestalozzi Schule Köln-Wahnheid, a school for disabled children. They welcomed 130 students to the hotel's ballroom for a lunch-time celebration. Associates had a blast playing and singing with the students, who composed their own song called "The Hyatt Friendship Song," which they've performed at the hotel every year since 2007. Associates in Cologne also plan to invite students to the hotel for a 3-day internship program and to decorate the school on graduation day.
The group at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch also wanted to give back to children, but focused on food. Teaming up with the hunger-fighting non-profit Feed My Starving Children, associates packed 67 boxes of nutritious rice packs, which will make 14,472 meals to feed 39 children for one year. Anabelle Sanchez, the hotel's human resources manager, was moved by the story of Omar, an El Salvadoran child who was severely underweight until FMSC stepped in. Anabelle and the other associates were able to see photos and videos that showed Omar's path to health, which made packing the boxes even more meaningful.
Here at the corporate office in Chicago, we got some hands-on time of our own yesterday in the Uptown community. Check back next week for pictures and video, including the personal stories of associates who were able to give back to their own neighborhood.