During the holiday season is a great time to consider flights to places and properties that are in the spirit by giving back to the community. While the expression, “Charity begins at home” is always true, I suggest teaching the kids that charity can also begin on vacation!
My family has participated in “Give Back Getaways” by cleaning up the beach in Naples, Florida. We wanted to show the kids how to help the environment and keep our beaches safe and clean. Family vacations are a great time to instill values about our globe so that future generations can enjoy traveling to these same destinations we enjoy now.
Guests at The Ritz-Carlton Hotels around the world can volunteer their holiday time. The program offers a variety of opportunities from helping to protect endangered sea turtles in Cancun, Mexico to helping with renovations and landscaping at the Children- Hospice SONNENHOF, which offers support for children with critical illnesses in Berlin.
In its “Give a Day, Get a Night” campaign, Sage Hospitality is championing community heroes for volunteer hours by offering a free room night. By simply bringing a letter proving they’ve done a full 8 hours of service at charities such as Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity or any other 501c3 organization, guests can book any of Sage’s 53 properties, including the Nines in Portland, Oregon or the Blackstone in Chicago and receive a complimentary guest room or a half-price rate.
Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino’s EMBRACE Project is its newest ongoing community volun-tourism program designed for the betterment of the island. EMBRACE stands for Employees Maintaining, Beautifying, Revitalizing Authentic Cultural Elements. This volunteer initiative, which draws upon the generosity of resort staff and guests, launched in May 2009 with the cleanup of the Bushiribana Gold Smelter Ruins, one of Aruba’s most cherished landmarks.
Similar to a sightseeing excursion, guests sign up with the resort concierge to join volunteer staff for a morning-long cleanup effort. For each of the ongoing cleanup sessions, Hyatt Regency Aruba provides all of the volunteers complimentary “Hyatt Force” t-shirts, snacks and drinks, roundtrip transportation and the tools necessary to spruce up the landmark.
Spa devotees seeking a natural path to beauty, relaxation and rejuvenation can head straight to the Florida Keys, where Jala Spa at Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa stays committed to the waterborne community that surrounds it. Jala Spa maintains an exclusive partnership with the local Reef Relief Organization that generates a contribution each time a guest books the spa’s signature “Jala Blue” treatment or one of the ‘Jala booster’ add-ons.
So, give a little and get a lot this holiday season. Local charities surrounding most resorts are always looking for extra helping hands.