Summer Fun With a Conscience

Summer is just around the corner.  I’ve been thinking about vacations and trying to decide if we can fit one in before July or we should wait until August since we need to be home in July.

We had a bodacious Spring Break, driving to Orlando to visit Legoland, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and the Holy Land Experience.  Although we didn’t take a full week, we got to see three separate theme parks, all very different from each other.  I booked my room online and got a pretty good rate since we stayed in Kissimmee. 

But now I know, I could have booked my room and supported four nonprofit organizations at the same time through Hotels for Hope (H4H).  With summer vacations coming up, I want to share with you how you can find a great hotel at a good price and have a little of that cash go into a charity’s pocket.

It’s been a little over two years since H4H started its mission to help charities Special Olympics Texas, A Glimmer of Hope, Livestrong and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

Located in Austin, at first, they were just partnering with Special Olympics Texas, asking hotels to make a small monetary donation as they booked delegations in their properties.

When they decided to take it further and begin H4H on April 13, 2010, they found three other nonprofits that they wanted to support and decided their focus would be on helping children.

Then in their first year of business, they raised $26,179 for those partner charities with the help of 203 hotels and 399 groups.

We’ve all heard of Special Olympics, physical contests for people with disabilities. My brother in law, who has Down Syndrome, has been to many of the events. Donations through H4H support crucial programs like Young Athletes and Healthy Athletes.

Many of us have also heard of Livestrong, the organization supporting people experiencing cancer which was begun by cyclist Lance Armstrong. H4H provides money for the Young Adult Alliance of Livestrong.

But A Glimmer of Hope is a little less well known. Its work is to bring clean water, education, healthcare and microfinance to rural Ethiopia. Proceeds donated by H4H are used to build and furnish schools in Ethiopia and to support Camp Glimmer, a summer program for disadvantaged youth in Austin.

You also may not have heard of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (T*A*P*S), which has been providing support for families of America’s fallen military heroes since 1994.  H4H’s donations help to provide a peer support network and military survivor seminars for adults as well as Good Grief Camps for children.

How does it work? H4H asks its hotel properties to donate $1 for each night booked and then it matches that $1, doubling its impact.

H4H also has a free membership club that gives you instant savings and members only offers with no annual fees, dues or even a cost to join.

So, this summer, give H4H a shot.  They can help you have a great vacation while also making you feel good for booking it with them.

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