Ritz-Carlton Giveback Getaways

ritzlogoY’know, it’s funny. I talk about this program all the time when discussing volunteer vacations–I was just interviewed for a magazine article, and mentioned it again–but I don’t think I’ve ever blogged about it. The Ritz-Carlton properties around the world have a truly high level of dedication to the host communities where their properties stand. In their hotels all around the world, they have a guest engagement program called “Giveback Getaways” that provides arranged volunteer opportunities for visiting guests. Each volunteer experience is different and particular to the city or community where the hotel operates. It is an organized half-day volunteer experience, and they handle all the details. From planting trees and conservation in Atlanta to volunteering at the Big Cat Habitat in Sarasota, to working with Second Harvest in Tokyo…there is something you can do during your stay to make a difference.

Some programs are available daily, some on certain days (every Saturday, for example), and some on particular dates—they can get you there and back, pack a lunch, provide tools you might need, and often loop in a donation to the community project where you’ll serve. Most focus on well-being programs for disadvantaged children, hunger and poverty relief, or environmental conservation. If you’re Puttin’ on the Ritz on your next travel adventure, log into the website ahead of your departure, and see if you can fit some local volunteering into your itinerary. It’s a great program, and has been rippling out to other hospitality brands that are catching on…travelers truly do want to have a positive impact on the places they go.

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