One Heart NOLA and the Audubon Nature Institute benefited from volunteer work performed by 260 hospitality professionals who attended the Hosts Global Forum in New Orleans.
“The Hosts Global Forum is our annual opportunity to bring together our 50+ destination management company members, clients, and colleagues from around the globe,” said Marty MacKay, DMCP, president of Hosts Global Alliance.
In roughly an hour on the conference's opening night, individuals packed 300 age-appropriate ‘One Heart NOLA’ cinch sacks with writing and art supplies to be given to children at the Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services.
The children that One Heart NOLA serves are often waiting to be placed in a foster home and these kits give them something that is “theirs” to take with them. The volunteers also made buddy keychains and personalized notes of encouragement for each child who receives a bag.
“Thank you so much to Hosts Global for choosing to support One Heart NOLA,” said Caitrin Alb, a One Heart NOLA board member and foster parent in Louisiana. “The activity bags were thoughtfully put together and are greatly appreciated.”
Conference participants also used their creative talents to make hundreds of toys for animals at the Audubon Zoo & Aquarium.
Using recycled materials, participants made six different types of toys to promote the mental well-being of the animals and also encourage their physical development. Often times, these toys help animals learn skills that they would natural develop in the wild, but are harder to develop in captivity.
“The attendees at the event were incredible volunteers: positive, creative and engaged,” said Llewellyn Everage of the Audubon Nature Institute. “I was inspired to see everyone so happily involved in creating hundreds of toys, puzzle feeders, and other enrichment toys for the animals at Audubon Zoo and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. The care and creativity put into each item clearly demonstrates the great quality of the hosts in this group!”
“Hosts’ differentiator is our H Factor,” said Jennifer Patino, DMCP, chief executive officer of Hosts Global. “We shared our Hearts and Hospitality during the welcoming night event when all attendees participated in a volunteerism program organized by Give2Get that contributed to two preeminent local non-profit organizations: the Audubon Nature Institute and One Heart NOLA.”