IHG Hotels & Resorts has spent the last few months recognizing and celebrating essential workers to thank them for their work.
"We issued a call for nominations of workers who went above and beyond to support their communities, vulnerable populations and colleagues, and the response we received was overwhelming. We're honored to recognize these workers and thank them by providing complimentary stays at our hotels and exclusive experiences, as well as IHG Rewards Club points to use toward future stays for the rest, relaxation and recovery they so richly deserve," said Catherine Dolton, vice president, corporate responsibility of IHG Hotels & Resorts.
IHG partnered with Mastercard and Chef JJ Johnson to present "Priceless Experience at Home," an exclusive virtual cooking class for health care professionals and nonprofit workers. As part of the experience, participants created one of Johnson's signature dishes. "It was a treat to be able to lead the class on behalf of Mastercard for these people who have sacrificed so much of their personal lives over the past few months. To me, cooking is all about community, and the essential workers I met during the class have inspired me with their stories of coming together to help their communities get through these tough times," says Johnson.
IHG also helped one couple "redo" their 26th wedding anniversary, after having spent 12 weeks apart. At the start of the pandemic, residential home healthcare provider Tina Brook and her colleagues decided the best way to protect their elderly patients would be to quarantine at their facility. They all spent 12 weeks away from their families, and Tina missed her 26th wedding anniversary with her husband as a result. To recognize Tina for her selfless actions, IHG surprised the couple with a makeup anniversary trip to Hotel Indigo Stratford-Upon-Avon.
Another recipient was Jeffery Bowman, facilities manager for Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana in New Orleans, who took on a new job when the pandemic hit. He organized a weekly drive-through food bank, arriving at his facility at 5:30 a.m. every Wednesday for seven months to unload food delivery trucks, package food boxes, direct volunteers and feed thousands of families in the area. Bowman, his wife and their two children will enjoy a family vacation for the first time this year at an IHG hotel.
These are only a couple of the essential workers IHG has recognized, and that's an even smaller fraction of the countless people who have stepped up to support their communities through the pandemic.
IHG Rewards Club members who are looking to make a difference in their communities can donate points to several charity partners, including CARE International UK, American Red Cross, Goodwill Industries International and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.