If you had 2,002 cookies, to whom would you give them? That`s the question that was posed to thousands of elementary school students in more than 100 cities across the country as part of the “Doubletree Teaching Kids to CARE” community outreach program.
Each participating Doubletree hotel adopted classes at their local elementary schools in September and pledged 2,002 of the brand`s signature chocolate chip cookies to the team of “kid volunteers,” so they could present them to the group they voted for most. As a result, a nationwide total of more than 200,000 cookies will be presented to various community groups and organizations by the students. From now through November 25, 2002 thousands of young children will have the opportunity to experience the joy of giving and the value of caring about others.
When all of the nearly 3,000 kids votes were collected and tallied from across the country, firefighters ranked first on the survey with 15% of the votes, followed by homeless people (14%), police officers (12%), doctors and nurses (7%) and teachers (6%). As expected when soliciting unedited comments from 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders, the responses were as classic as the choices themselves:
“Veterinarians, because they take care of your pets when they are broken,” Missoula, Mont. // “Crossing guards, because it is hard to make sure we are safe when crossing the street,” Los Angeles, Calif. // “Garbage men, because they have a smelly job and could use a sweet treat,” Downers Grove, Ill. // “The Military, because they go far away to protect our freedom so we can still sing God Bless America,” Portland, Ore.
“We also had votes for environmental clean-up workers and even the entire world,” said Dave Horton, senior vice president—brand management of Doubletree Hotels. “Our hotels really had to put on their thinking caps to try and find a way to fulfill these requests.”
According to Horton, one third-grade class wanted their pets to receive the cookies. While animals cannot enjoy the cookies, one Doubletree general manager looked into the possibility of having students present the cookies to nearby animal shelter and humane society workers.
Rounding out the top 10 in the elementary school survey were the Armed Forces, foster care homes, senior citizens, family/friends and the Leukemia Society.
At the core of the “Doubletree Teaching Kids to CARE” program was an educator approved lesson plan that was designed to encourage kids to begin making conscious decisions about caring and serving their local community. One of the main activities in the lesson plan centered around a “caring cookie.” Each student was encouraged to write a short essay on their “caring cookie” that was shared with their classmates. The essay on the “caring cookie” expressed which group of people the student wanted to give their 2,002 cookies. Each student then decorated their “caring cookie” and placed it on a “Caring Community Cookie Tree” poster in their classroom.
“Caring and community service are important to the Doubletree culture. We wanted to work with a new generation of kids to extend our culture and share with them how giving and caring for other people can be rewarding and certainly fun,” said Horton. “Something as simple as giving a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie to someone unexpectedly is sure to make them smile.”
It`s no accident that the hotel brand chose to involve its warm, daily baked chocolate chip cookies in its school program. During the past seven years, Doubletree has developed a loyal following of cookie lovers by presenting the same chocolate chip cookie to welcome millions of delighted hotel guests and customers. In fact, just this past June, the 100 millionth cookie was presented to a guest in Minneapolis.
Doubletree Hotels, Suites, Resorts and Clubs are part of Hilton Hotels Corporation. Hilton Hotels Corporation is recognized internationally as a preeminent hospitality company. For more information on the Doubletree brand, please visit our website at www.doubletree.com or call 1-800-222-TREE in the U.S. and Canada.