With Hanukah drawing to an end and Christmas fast approaching, it’s easy to lose sight of how lucky we are in the midst of all the festive hubbub. Unfortunately, more than 45 million Americans live in poverty each day. For these individuals and families, the holidays aren’t a cause for celebration. Many struggle daily just to put food on the table, clothes on their backs, and a roof over their heads.
This sad fact does come with a silver lining though, one provided with helping hands. Here at InTown Suites, we understand the strain unemployment, natural disasters, family illness and other circumstances can put on the average American. That is why we offer affordable, extended stay accommodations in 22 states, to ensure everyone has a place to lay their head.
We’re invested in ensuring we serve the communities where we’re located, with several InTown Gives Back initiatives. And this Holiday Season is no different. Our properties across the country are busy finding ways to brighten someone’s day and pay it forward. Even with Christmas a few days away, there are still ways to donate your time and resources to help those less fortunate. Here some of our favorite ideas from a few of our InTown properties:
InTown Suites’ corporate office has participated in several toy drives over the last year. Throughout 2017, the office was able to sponsor two families through Area in Need, two through The Salvation Army, and brighten six children’s’ holidays through Clark’s Christmas Kids.
How you can help: Toy drives are a fun way to inspire the giving spirit in both young and old. Local businesses, charities, and churches across the country host toy drives throughout out the year. Pick out a special gift, donate gently used toys, sponsor a family, or host your own to help put a smile on a child’s face this Christmas morning.
Our properties have been busy collecting food for those in need all throughout November and December. For the 13th year in a row, our Southern Virginia properties organized and collected enough food donations to fill a truck for The Salvation Army. Over in San Antonio, our properties were able to collect more than 500 pounds of food during their second annual food drive. Austin also hosted their second annual food drive, pulling in almost 200 pounds worth of food donations between the two properties in the area.
How you can help: It’s never been easier to donate food! Many grocery stores, malls, and drugstore all offer bins to drop off your non-perishable food items. If you prefer to give something a little bit more around the holidays, try donating a frozen turkey to one of the many food banks that provide Holiday Hampers for families in needs. Or, pick an organization that aligns with your company’s values and set up a donation bin in the office kitchen.
Following Hurricane Maria, our Orlando UCF (YOF) Extended Stay hosted several families that had fled from storm-ravaged Puerto Rico. To help make their Thanksgiving away from home a little bit more comfortable, local organization Latino Leadership went out of their way to feed hot meals to the hurricane refugees, as well as other guests at the property.
At our Indianapolis Northwest (ZII) Extended Stay, staff worked with Mozel Sanders Foundation to deliver 50 Thanksgiving dinners to guests unable to spend the day with their families, making sure no one went hungry or spent the holiday alone.
Part of serving our community is working with other change-makers. Over the past several years our North Eastern Atlanta XNG and ZIN properties have worked with Greater Atlanta Christian Academy’s High School Football Team to provide a holiday luncheon for the children staying with us. This year, with the help of XNG Property Manager Phoebe Richardson, the players personally delivered food and holiday-themed shopping bags to 40 rooms between two properties.
How you can help: Volunteer, educate yourself on an issue, donate, and connect with community members that share a common goal. Start small, do your research, and give a bit of your time to something that resonates with you.
InTown Suites couldn’t do what we do without the support and patronage of customers like you. From everyone at our 189 locations and corporate offices, we’d like to offer the sincerest thanks and wish you a Happy Holidays.