In celebration of International Pay It Forward Day, Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts, Major League Baseball’s Official Partner of Road Trips, is launching a six-week campaign encouraging acts of kindness to benefit the MLB’s ‘Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities’ youth initiative, which provides opportunities to play baseball and softball, encourages academic success and teaches the value of teamwork and other important life lessons to underserved youth from urban communities. Beginning today through June 9, 2011, consumers are invited to share how they “pay it forward” on the Holiday Inn Facebook page and with each act of kindness posted, Holiday Inn will “pay it forward” and donate a ticket to a Major League Baseball game to benefit RBI, up to 5,000 tickets.
A study from researchers at Harvard and the University of California found that when people benefit from acts of kindness, they “pay it forward” by helping others, creating a cascading effect that influences others to do the same.
“Whether paying the tolls for the person behind you in line, offering your seat to an elderly person on public transportation, or simply holding the door open for others, our campaign celebrates citizens that do their part to make the world a better place,” said Del Ross, vice president, U.S. Sales and Marketing, InterContinental Hotels Group. “By supporting RBI, we are not only enriching the lives of underserved youth but also helping to build the next generation of everyday heroes.”
Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie “The Wizard” Smith was the first to “pay it forward” by posting his entry to the Holiday Inn Pay It Forward Facebook application. He shared, “Today I sent a personal message on my special Hall of Fame stationery to a Cardinal Fan in Illinois as a surprise for her 90th birthday. It didn’t take me long but it will bring a big smile to her face when she opens it.” Ozzie’s post kicked off the campaign and will send a lucky boy or girl to a St. Louis Cardinal’s game this summer, his former club and home of his retired #1 uniform. Through his Twitter account, Smith also is encouraging his fans and former and current MLB players to post about their good deeds.
“I’m really impressed with what Holiday Inn is doing to support the RBI program, which provides underprivileged youth with a variety of new experiences and teaches them the value of teamwork while having fun along the way,” said Ozzie Smith.
The “Pay It Forward” campaign will run from April 28th to June 9th. For more information or to share an act of kindness, please visit http://www.facebook.com/HolidayInnHotels. Those who “pay it forward” to RBI also will be entered to win an all-expenses paid trip for two to the MLB All-Star Game in Phoenix, Arizona, on July 12 2011. RBI was founded in 1989 and has served more than one million youth in its 22 year history. In 2010 alone, 300 RBI leagues served over 170,000 baseball and softball participants, and the program continues to provide children with opportunities on and off the field.