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Participation in Marriott International’s 18th Annual Global Volunteer Effort Expected to Break Records; 35,000 Associates to Volunteer in 50 Countries

May 21, 2016 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

Starting today, tens of thousands of Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) associates worldwide will begin delivering Marriott’s brand of hospitality beyond hotel doors as part of the company’s 18th annual Spirit To Serve Our Communities Day volunteer initiative. Globally this year as part of Spirit To Serve, Marriott anticipates record breaking engagement, with nearly 35,000 associates in 50 countries expected to deliver about 90,000 volunteer hours – the equivalent of 30 years of work.


Spirit to Serve infographic

While volunteering with local community organizations is a year-round commitment, Spirit To Serve Day – Marriott’s largest single-day volunteer effort event at headquarters – is designed to make lasting impacts on the social, economic and environmental well-being of the communities Marriott serves.

“At the core of our company is a spirit to serve. Extending that focus to the communities where our associates live and work is a key part of who we are and how we take care of our people,” Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said. “What strengthens our communities strengthens all of us.”

At Marriott’s headquarters alone, about 2,000 people – more than 55% of employees – are expected to spend about 7,000 hours volunteering their time at 29 projects across the greater Washington D.C. area. The figures represent increases of about 20% in terms of people and time vs. 2015. One of the volunteers – Sorenson – will roll up his sleeves to help construct a playground with the non-profit KaBOOM! at a bilingual charter school in a Washington D.C. neighborhood that lacks one.

“Volunteering is a key part of our culture, and increasingly, a reason why associates choose Marriott,” Sorenson said.

The KaBOOM! playground that Marriott employees created last year in Maryland for Montgomery County Homeless Coalition’s Seneca Heights Apartments changed the lives of many residents, especially the youngest. Today, children can enjoy swings and slides, while the basketball courts and new vegetable garden engage residents of all ages.


Examples of other projects that associates will undertake around the world this year:

  • In Washington D.C., Marriott associates from the Marriott Marquis DC will work with the nonprofit So Others Might Eat to train graduating students on customer service skills, interview skills and networking at the group’s Center for Employment Training.
  • In the drought-plagued hills of India’s Maharashtra, associates from the Courtyard by Marriott Pune Chakan this month gave a remote community convenient access to water. Working with a local solar company, hotel employees installed a solar-powered pump that delivers water close to homes, eliminating villagers’ laborious trip across rough terrain.
  • To help children born in Syrian refugee camps who have been relocated to rural Australian communities, associates in Marriott’s Australia hotels are volunteering their time to support a local Save the Children book giving program so the children have books to read.
  • Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel employees this month will work to beautify Lindenhofje, a hospice in central Amsterdam for children and teenagers who are seriously ill or face life-threatening illnesses.
  • Haiti’s Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel associates will serve a barbeque lunch for 250 people at the SOS Children’s Village in Santo during its Family Strengthening Day. This village was one of several nonprofits that hotel associates called home prior to working at the hotel.

Marriott associates will share stories and photographs of their projects on Twitter using the hashtag #SpiritToServe.

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