WHY IT RATES: Choice Hotels has teamed with mattress brand, Serta, and nonprofit organization Relief Bed International to address an insufficiency of available hospital beds for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is providing a means by which its loyalty program members can help to support the cause. - Laurie Baratti, TravelPulse Associate Writer
Choice Hotels International, Inc. is teaming up with Serta, Inc., the nation's leading mattress brand, to contribute to its "Stay Home, Send Beds" initiative, which is providing bed donations to help address nationwide shortages at hospitals and temporary medical facilities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of Choice Hotels' award-winning Choice Privileges loyalty program can now donate their points towards beds for hospitals in need, and Choice will increase the impact by matching 100 percent of donated Choice Privileges points for a limited time. All Serta mattress donations are being facilitated through Relief Bed International, a nonprofit organization that provides beds to impoverished people and disaster victims around the world.
"We are so grateful to our nation's tireless healthcare workers and recognize the increased needs and demands hospitals are facing to support and treat those affected by COVID-19," said Robert McDowell, chief commercial officer, Choice Hotels. "We want to do our part to help those on the front lines and facilitate care for those in need, and right now, every bed counts. Our customers are looking for ways to safely give back during this pandemic, and we're proud to give them a way to do just that by supporting communities in need and contributing to this important cause."
This is the latest example of the ongoing efforts by Choice and its franchisees to support those impacted by COVID-19 and local communities, including:
-American Red Cross: Choice Hotels is a member of the Red Cross Disaster Responder Program, which ensures the American Red Cross is prepared to respond to disasters and meet the needs of those affected anytime and anywhere across the United States. Guests can aid this life-saving organization by redeeming Choice Privileges® points that convert to a cash donation.
-Operation Homefront: Due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, family members of ill or injured service members are being displaced from their current housing. Choice is providing Choice Privileges points donations towards hotel rooms to help these families during this transition. Choice Privileges loyalty members are also able to donate points to benefit this cause.
-International Franchise Association: Choice is supporting the association's Franchising Gives Back program, which provides education, resources and direct financial support to small businesses and local non-profit partners across the country. Choice Privileges members can donate points to the program to help fund initiatives contributing to communities and families in need, and Choice is currently matching the first 5 million points donated.
Choice hotels are also offering discounted hotel rates to essential workers and volunteers serving communities across the country during the COVID-19 crisis. The company's Choice Cares rate is available at participating locations to all workers and volunteers identified by the Department of Homeland Security as Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.
"Our franchisees are some of the most dedicated and inspiring people on the frontlines, putting their staff and communities at the forefront of their action," added McDowell. "We applaud the commitment of our owners in opening their doors to essential workers, providing care packages and supplies to the individuals who need them, and making a difference in numerous other ways for their hotels and communities during this time of need."
Choice hotels across the nation are housing members of the National Guard, first responders, essential healthcare staff and various other groups affected by the pandemic. For example, a Sleep Inn in Harrisonburg, Virginia, has donated all of its rooms for medical professionals to quarantine and protect their families. Countless franchisees are also supporting their communities in other practical and creative ways. Some hotels, such as the Ascend Esquire Hotel in Gastonia, North Carolina, are using their restaurants to provide free meals or vouchers to furloughed and essential workers. The Cambria Hotel & Suites in Traverse City, Michigan, thanked local healthcare professionals by contributing to goody bags as part of the local "Community Care Project" and donated sheets to "Seamstresses for Safety," which were used to make gowns and masks for healthcare workers. In addition, the WoodSpring Suites hotel in Allentown, Pennsylvania donated a dozen handmade superhero masks to healthcare workers currently staying at the hotel. Many hotels flying the Choice flag are also participating in the American Hotel and Lodging Association's Hospitality for Hope program, which connects hotels with essential workers looking for safe housing and support during the pandemic.
To donate Choice Privileges points toward beds for hospitals or other causes, interested members can visit https://www.choicehotels.com/choice-privileges/redeem-points/donations.
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