The concept of sharing resources to be socially responsible is a dynamic way to engage companies and employees to give back.
Asking for large sums of money year after year to support even the best causes may become an outdated concept as creative charities like Send Me On Vacation invent new ways of funding their mission. As companies join the SMOV movement and donate unused hotel rooms, timeshare weeks, airline tickets, frequent flyer miles, cruise cabins and rental cars, breast cancer recipients begin to heal quickly from the emotional effects associated with fighting cancer on restorative vacations. Each year more and more recipients are going on these vacations using donated resources from the travel and tourism industry. The concept of reducing funding and increasing the engagement of companies giving to charities, gives everyone the confidence of knowing that donations go directly to impacting survivors and their families and don’t go to paying salaries or high expenses. Companies that donate resources receive the survivors story and photo before travel and can expect a post card thanking them for their act of giving. It’s a connection that drives companies and donors to give more and give often.
Send Me On Vacation pioneered the concept of recycling inventory to cover 2/3 of the expenses needed to grant vacations for survivors five years ago. They work primarily with timeshare organizations, travel clubs and all inclusive resorts to supply accommodations for recipients. Marriott Vacation Club, Diamond Resorts, Club Med, RCI, SFX, Westgate Resorts, Lifestyles Resorts and Global Vacations are some of the biggest names in the industry that support the cause. Utilizing the Jet Blue Airlines volunteer program called Community Connections, Jet Blue employees donate their time volunteering to earn airline tickets to fly survivors to their vacation destination, further reducing vacation costs. With Jet Blue as a donor, the organization benefits two-fold. The employees donate their time off to assist in organizing the trip and are responsible for funding the airline ticket. They engage personally in real time giving by meeting survivors both at the airport and when assisting on SMOV Survivor Group Vacations offered throughout the year. Partnering with an all inclusive vacation company like Club Med creates a totally funded vacation for a survivor and the family when coupled with a Jet Blue ticket or donated frequent flyer miles from individuals who reach out directly to donate their miles.
Founder Cathy Backus has spent her career in the travel and hospitality industry and when the opportunity presented itself for her to create Send Me On Vacation, she went to her resources in the industry and asked them to give, not money but resources. Turning resources into the reality of changing someones life for the better is engaged giving at its best. Using volunteerism and resource donation is encouraging supporters to give what they can whether it be their time, an asset or money. It increases everyones opportunity to get involved and an effective way to give breast survivors and their families a chance to find happiness again and take a break from fighting cancer.