HOSPITALS AND HOTELS have at least one thing in common: a need for beds. As hotels close and hospitals fill during the COVID-19 pandemic, Choice Hotels International has begun a program to provide mattresses to medical facilities.
In its “Stay Home, Send Beds” initiative, Choice, along with Serta Inc., will allow members of its Choice Privileges loyalty program to donate points toward mattresses for hospitals. Choice will match each donation 100 percent.
Relief Bed International, a nonprofit organization that provides beds to impoverished people and disaster victims globally, is facilitating the donations.
“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,” said Robert McDowell, Choice’s chief commercial officer.
Stay Home, Send Beds is one of several outreach efforts by Choice and its franchisees. Guests also can redeem Choice Privileges points toward cash donations to the Red Cross and toward Operation Homefront, which provides rooms to family members of ill or injured service members are being displaced from their current housing.
Choice is supporting the International Franchise 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.
Other hotel companies are implementing similar outreach programs. Vision Hospitality Group of Chattanooge, Tennessee, led by President and CEO Mitch Patel recently donated care packages to its furloughed employees over Easter weekend while Marriott International formed two initiatives to help emergency healthcare workers.
OYO Hotels and Homes has created a special fund to help employees at OYO properties and partner companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic or the consequent social restrictions worldwide. And Best Western Hotels & Resorts will offer discounted rates, loyalty program points and donation offerings to essential workers while My Place Hotels of America will donate 5 percent of the cost of the rooms rented by participating guests to a charitable organization.