BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin and U.S. Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (both D-MD) today announced that three major hotel corporations have agreed to participate in a new national program that will allow American citizens to donate their hotel reward points to wounded warriors and their families. Marriott International was the first hotel company to agree to participate in the program, followed by the Wyndham Hotel Group and AmericInn. Event participants called on the rest of the lodging industry to follow their lead and agree to participate by Memorial Day, when organizers hope to open the program to donations.
“Hotels for Heroes” will be modeled off the national “Hero Miles” program, which provides free round-trip airfare to wounded warriors traveling to receive care through the military health system, as well as to friends and family visiting them. Flights are made possible by frequent flyer miles donated by the American public. “Hotels for Heroes” was created by bipartisan legislation authored by Congressman Ruppersberger and Senator Cardin that passed in December.
“The ‘Hotels for Heroes’ program is committed to providing military families the support they need when their loved ones are wounded or injured,” said Senator Cardin. “I want to commend the Marriott, Wyndham and AmericInn hotel chains for their hospitality and generosity of spirit in participating in ‘Hotels for Heroes,’ and I urge other hotel chains to join the program and show their support for members of the military and their families. Americans are known for their unselfish spirit and love of country and this new program will allow them to show their appreciation of the sacrifices made by our military by providing their families with additional support during a very difficult time.”
“I want to thank Marriott, Wyndham and AmericInn for stepping up to the plate and being the first to agree to participate in this valuable program,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “Sometimes the love and support of family is the best medicine to help a wounded warrior recover from his or her injuries. Helping to reduce their travel expenses is one small way to show our nation’s heroes that we appreciate their sacrifices and the sacrifices of their families.”
“Marriott is proud to be the first hotel company to join ‘Hotels for Heroes,’ and to offer our millions of Marriott Rewards members in the U.S. the option to give back to the men and women of the military who have served our country so well,” said Ed French, senior vice president, Marriott Rewards. “We look forward to partnering with Fisher House on this great cause, and thank our Maryland Congressional delegation, especially Congressman Ruppersberger and Senator Cardin, for their leadership in moving this project forward.”
“Wyndham Hotel Group is proud to support this selfless endeavor and to welcome members of the military and their families into our hotels,” said Robin Korman, senior vice president, Wyndham Loyalty Marketing and Strategic Partnerships. “We believe our Wyndham Rewards members will embrace the opportunity to give back to those who have given so much by donating their points. We are so passionate about this cause, that Wyndham Rewards is donating 10 million Wyndham Rewards points, which can provide at least 1,000 room nights. We applaud the efforts of the Maryland Congressional delegation, Congressman Ruppersberger and Senator Cardin in championing this worthy initiative and look forward to working with Fisher House and the hospitality community in helping these fine men and women.”
“AmericInn is proud to be one of the founding partners of the Hotels for Heroes program,” said Paul Kirwin, President and CEO of AmericInn. “As our name suggests, we’re a patriotic brand that has supported the troops in the past through our AmericInn Cares initiatives, so this was a natural extension for us,” he added.
As with “Hero Miles,” “Hotels for Heroes” will be administered by the Fisher House, a non-profit organization that opens its homes to military families visiting their injured loved ones at hospitals across the country.
“Fisher House Foundation is honored to partner with these great hotel groups to support America’s wounded warriors, veterans and their families,” said David Coker, President of Fisher House Foundation. “‘Hotels for Heroes’ will support countless families throughout the coming years, easing their burden as they care for their loved ones.”