Helping Hands: Hyatt, Columbia Hospitality

NATIONAL REPORT—At this time of crisis, those associated with the hotel industry make every effort to take care of their own, as well as others in the areas that they serve. Here are some organizations that are helping any way they can during the coronavirus pandemic:

Hyatt, American Airlines Partner to Award Free Vacations
Hyatt Hotels Corporations and American Airlines have teamed up to award thousands of healthcare professionals from NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst three-night complimentary vacations once they are able to take time for themselves.

American Airlines and Hyatt are coming together to show their appreciation to one of the hospitals hardest hit by COVID-19 in the U.S. From doctors, physician assistants and nurses to facilities and foodservice teams, the more than 4,000 staff at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst will be treated to roundtrip flights on American Airlines to Hyatt hotels in select destinations across the U.S. and Caribbean.

“At Hyatt, everything we do is fueled by our purpose of care and when opportunities like this present themselves, we are inspired to act,” said Mark Hoplamazian, president/CEO, Hyatt. “We’ve heard from so many of our colleagues and members who simply want to do some good and find a way to share their gratitude for some of the heroes of this pandemic in one of the hardest-hit areas of New York. We are humbled by the healthcare workers’ dedication to saving lives. Now it’s our turn to take care of them like members of our own family, and we look forward to making their stays special when they are able to take a hard-earned break.”

“Every worker at Elmhurst has seen and experienced challenges many of us cannot imagine. They’ve given so much of themselves and chose to serve their community with care, compassion and equity for every patient,” said Robert Isom, president of American Airlines. “When they are able to take a break, we hope the time away will help them and their loved ones recharge and that they feel our deepest appreciation for their sacrifice and heroism.”

Columbia Hospitality Launches Foundation
In support of its employees, Seattle-based Columbia Hospitality has launched the Columbia Hospitality Cares Foundation, created to lend a helping hand to team members facing hardships in their personal or professional lives.

Through April, more than 200 Columbia Hospitality team members have been provided financial assistance and more than $150,000 has been raised in support of the foundation.

The Columbia Hospitality Cares Foundation offers timely financial assistance for challenges such as housing, medical expenses, auto repairs, or even money to buy groceries for team members’ families. Up to $500 may be provided to applicants (the first round of distributions allowed for up to $1,000), and qualifying applicants include current Columbia Hospitality team members or those who have been recently laid-off or furloughed (within 30 days of applying for the program). In order to qualify for the program, the team member must be employed for at least one year.

Funding to seed the Foundation came from CEO John Oppenheimer and his wife, Deanna; the Columbia Hospitality leadership team; and team members throughout the organization..