Ritz-Carlton hotels around the world can now volunteer their time to improve and assist the local community where they are
vacationing. The program, called “Give Back Getaways” offers guests a variety of opportunities from learning traditional rice farming
methods in Osaka to restoring heritage homes in the ancient water town of Wuzhen near Shanghai.
“Give Back Getaways” is the most recent opportunity to volunteer under Community Footprints,
the Ritz-Carlton's social and environmental
“We have come to recognize the interest many of our guests have in becoming more involved in the region where
they are spending their vacation,” explained Simon F. Cooper, The Ritz-Carlton president and chief operating officer. “Many of them are
active volunteers in worthwhile activities at home, and want to continue this spirit of giving when they visit other parts of the world. We
believe “Give Back Getaways” is a unique way for our hotels to partner with guests to provide an experience both memorable
and personally enriching.”
The employees at each of The Ritz-Carlton 70 hotels around the world were challenged to identify an organization or cause in need of
support in their community. They then partnered with the group to prioritize needs for hands-on assistance, and scheduled dates
throughout the year when “Give Back Getaways” will be offered. In Beijing, the two hotels’ respective efforts include building a library for
the young children of migrant workers at the Dandelion School, and tree-planting in rural hills to reduce the desert encroachment. Each of
the programs offered will include instruction by professionals so participants can make a meaningful contribution to the
project they select to participate in as a volunteer for the half-day program. All profits from the half-day programs will be donated to the partner organization.
The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun, guests will join a biologist from the Cancun Department of Ecology for a rewarding hands-on experience
protecting mother turtles during nesting and helping them return safely to the sea. Guests will head out at night to search for nesting turtles,
gather sea turtle eggs and bring them to a safer location at turtle camps where they can be buried without interfering with their natural cycle.
Employees at the resort have been involved in this project for more than a decade and are very proud that the program has been expanded
to include guests in this critical mission.
For guests who enjoy snorkeling or diving in Bali, they will participate in a coral-saving program by interacting with local seaweed farmers
who have adopted more eco-friendly fishing techniques. Visitors to New York City can roll up their sleeves to work alongside members of
the Central Park Conservancy to preserve this historic landmark by bench and rail painting, raking and other horticultural activities.
Additional “Give Back Getaways” include cooking and serving meals at the North Texas Food Bank, planting native Cyprus trees in the
dwindling wetland forests of the Florida Everglades, building homes with Habitat for Humanity in Jakarta, Indonesia and environmental
conservation in Kaiping Diaolou, a World Cultural Heritage project located in the Pearl River Delta, to help return the buildings’ environs to
their original beauty and glory, organized by The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou – the latest addition to The Ritz-Carlton group in China.
In Jamaica, guests will partner with resort employees and the children of SOS Children’s Village to beautify surroundings at the children’s
home by planting trees, native plants and vegetables.
"Having grown up at the SOS Children’s Village, I was given amazing opportunities
that might not have been possible without the involvement of organizations such as The Ritz-Carlton. Children deserve the right to feel
cherished and the right to belong. This is a great opportunity for us to invest in brighter futures for these children – and doing so with the
involvement of our guests," said Michelle Singh, administrative assistant to the executive chef at The
Ritz-Carlton Rosehall, Jamaica.
“Even if people have never volunteered in their home communities before, we believe “Give Back Getaways” offers a new personal vacation
experience which can be memorable and rewarding,” added Simon Cooper.
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