This fall, travelers can help protect
children and young women at risk from exploitation all over the world just
by checking into a hotel. Beginning today, guests staying at participating
Carlson Hotels Worldwide brand properties in the Americas are invited to
“Make Room in Your Heart for Kids” by donating $1 per night’s stay to
benefit the World Childhood Foundation (Childhood)—the hospitality
company’s new charity partner. Participating Carlson hotel brands include
Radisson Hotels & Resorts(R), Park Plaza(R) Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns
& Suites By Carlson(R) and Park Inn(R).
Carlson, a founding sponsor of Childhood, has to date donated $1 million
through the Curtis L. Carlson Foundation, plus in-kind services to
Childhood. Carlson’s affiliation with Childhood builds on its April 2004
announcement that it has become the first North American company to sign a
global code of conduct aimed at protecting children against sexual
exploitation in the travel and tourism industry. Carlson’s compliance with
the Code of Conduct includes educational outreach to the public, of which
the fund raising program is a part.
“UNICEF estimates that two million children, many of them girls, are part
of the multi-billion dollar commercial sex trade,” said Marilyn Carlson
Nelson, Chairman and CEO of Carlson Companies. “We need to do what we can
to educate people on this growing problem and help put an end to it. By
supporting World Childhood Foundation through a small donation of $1 per
night, our guests can contribute to a charitable effort that supports over
75 children’s aid programs in 15 countries.” The fund raising program will
run from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30, 2004 and thereafter run twice a year for
two months at a time.
“We encourage our hotels to build relationships in their communities and
the world in which we operate and this program provides a method to
achieve that goal,” said Trudy Rautio, president of Carlson Hotels
Worldwide, The Americas, who has helped develop the fund raising effort
within Carlson’s hotel group.
Founded in 1999 by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden to serve the world’s
most vulnerable children, World Childhood Foundation, headquartered in
Stockholm, with offices in New York, Sao Paulo and Munich, has donated
over $7 million (USD) to help aid children at risk of exploitation around
the world. In the United States, for example, Childhood supports:
—YouthLink in Minneapolis, which provides prevention and intervention
service for teens involved in prostitution
—Northside Center for Child Development in Harlem, New York,
rehabilitation, support services and after school activities center for
sexually abused children and adolescents.