The inaugural campaign of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go with Literacy,” a month-long campaign to promote literacy was launched by hotels in HHM’s independent hotel portfolio in March, National Reading Month, 2017. The hotels and the Philadelphia-based corporate office implemented a multi-pronged campaign with drop-off boxes collecting new and gently used books for readers under 12 years old in their lobbies and Dr. Seuss classics for sale in the lobby or in guestrooms. All proceeds from the sale of such titles were donated to the cause and purchasers could opt to keep the books or donate it back into the campaign. The front desk of participating hotels also accepted donations from guests.
A total of 852 books were collected and the independent hotel portfolio raised $978.76, all proceeds were distributed to children in need through the help of the United Way and Cradles to Crayons, partners in HHM’s campaign. See below for participating hotels and impact.
Participating hotels and impact:
Duane Street Hotel
NU Hotel Brooklyn
IMPACT: The books and monies collected from the New York City properties were given to ReadNYC, United Way of New York City’s response to the illiteracy crisis plaguing the city, particularly in neighborhoods like Mott Haven and Brownsville. This initiative envelops children, families, schools and community partners with the resources to help children read. The impact of this initiative goes beyond students: It empowers principals and teachers through mentoring and professional development training. In 2015, ReadNYC provided nearly 900 Mott Haven residents with free tax prep and counseling—pumping nearly $600,000 into the economy.
The Boxer Boston
Books and donations collected at The Boxer Boston were donated to Cradles to Crayons, an organization that provides children from birth through age 12 living in homeless or low-income situations with the essential items they need to thrive—at home, at school and at play. New and nearly new items are collected by Cradles to Crayons and then processed and packages by volunteers at their packing center, and those items are then distributed to disadvantaged children throughout the state through a collaborative network of social service agencies and school partners.
Capitol Hill Hotel
The St. Gregory Hotel
Capitol Hill Hotel and The St. Gregory Hotel collected 200 + books which were distributed to Neval Thomas Elementary School in NE Washington, D.C. through the United Way of the National Capital Area (UWNCA). This school aims to empower every child with the potential to become a knowledgeable, innovative and globally competitive citizen.
The Independent Hotel
HHM Philadelphia Corporate Office
Books and donations collected at The Independent Hotel, The Rittenhouse and HHM’s Philadelphia Corporate Office were presented to Cradles to Crayons, an organization which provides children from birth through age 12 living in homeless or low-income situations with the essential items they need to thrive—at home, at school and at play. New and nearly new items are collected by Cradles to Crayons and then processed and packages by volunteers at their packing center, and those items are then distributed to disadvantaged children across the state through a collaborative network of social service agencies and school partners.
Hotel Milo Santa Barbara
Books and monies donated to Hotel Milo Santa Barbara were distributed to the United Way of Santa Barbara County’s Kindergarten Success Institutes (KSI), a program which improves classroom skills for low-income 4 to 6 year olds who have little or no prior early educational experience. During the three to four week session (typically held during the summer or in modified form before/after school), UWSBC provides curriculum and credentialed teachers to help more than 150 students at 10 local sites master the social/emotional, language, motor and approach to learning skills that are essential to their future success in kindergarten and beyond. In 2016, participants improved their academic, social and emotional skills by 55% in just three weeks!