Giving Back This Holiday Season
As we all wind down from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and get back into our daily routines, we thought it would nice to take a look back at some of the ways Shaner properties showed their holiday spirit by giving back to their local communities.
Residence Inn Edina
The Residence Inn Edina, held two events for the holidays. The first one was a Food drive for Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People (VEAP.) VEAP is a basic needs and social services organization whose programs promote access to healthy foods, stable housing and other supportive services. VEAP’s programs are designed to address a particular need and when used together provide hope and can help avoid a financial crisis such as loss of housing, transportation or employment. Whether the hardship is from a disability, job transition, or the financial and physical stresses of aging, VEAP has been helping our neighbors in need for 45 years. VEAP is the largest the largest local food bank in the twin cities which serve area such as Edina, Bloomington, Richfield and Minneapolis. The event was held in November to the week of Thanksgiving and we were able to collect about 200lbs of food. This drive was held in our lobby with both guests and employees donating. Every employee brought in at least 1 nonperishable item.
In addition, starting November 26th through December 18th , the property held a Toys for Tots drive in the lobby and throughout the hotel. They were a local drop off site also so many of the local businesses also contributed. When they went to drop off the toys, they had a complete pickup truck (inside and out) filled with well over 1000 toys.
Fairfield Inn Harrisburg International Airport
The team at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Harrisburg International Airport evaluated their options to assist the community this past holiday season and chose Toys for Tots as their project for December 2018. The staff and management along with their clients worked to collect toys to be donated to this worthwhile organization. On Thursday, December 13, 2018, all of the toys collected were delivered to Anthony M Rivera, HM1(FMF/SW), local drive chairman for the US Marine Reserve Depot in Downtown Harrisburg.
Toys for Tots Campaigns are the heart and soul of the Marine Toys for Tots Program managed by dedicated United States Marines and local volunteers to help raise monetary contributions, toys and program awareness. Their support helps millions of less fortunate children share in the magic of the holidays. Over 97% of donations go directly to their mission of providing toys, books, and other gifts to less fortunate children.
Ever wonder what 2,000 cookies all in one area would look like? Or how long does it take to bake all of those? The Courtyard by Marriott Hershey Chocolate Avenue sure does.
Most recently the team headed by General Manager, Elias Thompson and Food & Beverage Director, Emily Guise baked 2,000 cookies that were donated to Hope Springs Farm in Hershey, PA for their annual cookie sales to assist in raising money to fund their developmental programs.
Hope Springs Farm’s goal is to provide adults who have developmental and intellectual disabilities a day program to maximize their abilities. “Growers”, as they are called, take part in various community activities including: volunteering in the local community, visiting local museums, swimming, taking field trips and shopping for the supplies they need to feed their animals or do their crafts.
The staff also volunteered most recently at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank by assisting in packing boxes of food. The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank distributes more than 48 million pounds of food and grocery products, equivalent to more than 40 million meals, every year to more than 900 soup kitchens, shelters, and food pantries in 27 central Pennsylvania counties. These agencies directly feed thousands of hungry families throughout central Pennsylvania.
The teams from the Courtyard, TownePlace Suite, and Hampton Inn and Suites in Homestead shared an amazing experience, and spread Holiday joy to the students at Beyond Expectation Academy. Led by Santa and his elves, the teams from all three hotels participated in delivering toys to each students in the school. Beyond Expectation Academy is a school doing unbelievable work, providing education and therapy to kids with special needs in the Homestead area. All agreed, it was an unforgettable day!
The Pittsburgh Marriott City Center Team opened their hearts once again and helped with a very special place for kids. They held a holiday gift drive for the Bradley Center. The Bradley center is a home/school for children located near the Pittsburgh Airport. The Bradley Center is committed to improving the lives of children, youth and families affected by trauma, mental illness, and behavioral health challenges. There are 100 children who live at center who will wake up on Christmas morning with a gift from one of the team members.
Additional events were also held across the portfolio including food drives at the Fairfield Inn Towanda, Courtyard Mechanicsburg and the Shaner Corporate Office. Once again the associates of Shaner Hotels showed that giving back to their local communities is a top priority. Job well done to all the associates portfolio-wide who gave their time to these worthy causes this past holiday season.