31 August 2020

Hospitality’s Community Efforts to Support the Areas they Live and Work in

We are proud of Brookfield’s global efforts to affect positive change in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is one story in a series of blogs highlighting the various global campaigns and how they made a difference.

When COVID-19 hit, the effects of the pandemic were felt globally. As the world began to shut down, safety precautions were set in place; banning travel, forcing hotels and restaurants to shut their doors, leaving many jobless and in a place of uncertainty. Unlike other sectors there was no the option to work from home for most Hospitality industry employees. This resulted in a substantial impact on the industry.

Brookfield Properties’ Hospitality team saw these effects and immediately knew they wanted to help, and they took the initiative to provide relief within the communities they live and work.

“Giving back is so important during this time. We felt this especially because this crisis hit our segment hard. In April 2020, the unemployment rate for hospitality workers in the U.S. was 39%. We needed to do something,” Nelson Garrido, Senior Vice President of Information Technology for Hospitality, mentioned.

Their initial efforts focused on addressing the effects of people sheltering in place. Asset managers partnered with the hotels and properties they managed to encourage and organize support through charitable efforts within their communities. Many of them stepped up, aiding COVID-19 relief for employees who were furloughed or laid off, and aiding within the local community. These efforts displayed the notion of, “you are only as strong as those surrounding you,” and in this case the strength of community backing those in need, shed light on the culture of the hospitality sector and the importance of supporting team members. Some of these efforts included:

  • PGA National Resort & Spa implemented a drive-up food program, where twice a week employees could collect enough food to feed a family of four.
  • Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina implemented a drive-upfood program, where twice a week employees and first responders could collect food.
  • Intercontinental Hotel Buckhead Atlanta hosted grab-and-go meals which were prepared and distributed to employees.
  • Sheraton Toronto Center donated food inventory to working employees. They also worked to provide housing for first responders in need.

Towards the end of June, hotels started to reopen and bring back employees. Brookfield Hospitality wanted to continue it’s giving, so the group shifted its focus to the A Cause for Caring campaign. The A Cause for Caring campaign was coordinated globally amongst Brookfield companies and sectors. The campaign has empowered team members to donate to a charity or nonprofit with the 2:1 match portion of the donation directed to local causes providing critical relief from the impacts of COVID-19.

The featured causes Hospitality has chosen to support via A Cause for Caring are, Frontline Foods and World Central Kitchen. These charities were selected because their main priorities are aiding restaurant and hotel workers, which is important to Hospitality as they want to show up for their people and the community. The small but mighty, 18-person Hospitality team are three weeks into their campaign and have raised $1000 thus far. They are still working towards gaining more donations and participating in further charitable efforts as the campaign progresses.

It’s incredible to see what can be achieved when the community and businesses come together to support one another. Thank you to Brookfield’s Hospitality team for sharing their experience.