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Airbnb sets out to help rid the world of strangers

Airbnb sets out to help rid the world of strangers

Community-driven hospitality company Airbnb has today announced a unique social challenge that acts on the company’s core principles of hospitality, belonging, and opening doors around the world.

As a community known for embracing the spirit of belonging, Airbnb is ringing in the new year with one audacious goal in mind: to turn strangers into friends.

The company has invited its global community to help rid the world of strangers through personal and creative acts of hospitality through #OneLessStranger.

Beginning today, the company will give $10 - or the equivalent in foreign currency - to 100,000 Airbnb community members worldwide, totalling $1 million.

Airbnb is asking members to use the money for a unique act of kindness with the goal of inspiring others to join in this global movement to help rid the world of strangers.

Creative gestures of hospitality could range from using the funds to plant seeds or flowers in the community garden to buying items such as art and supplies for a local senior centre, string to create friendship bracelets to share with strangers, or even ingredients for baked goods to hand out to those in need.

While funds will be sent to certain Airbnb community members, the global community at large is also invited to participate and encourage others to get involved.

No matter how big or small the investment, Airbnb would like community members around the world to document their experience via social channels using the hashtag #OneLessStranger in efforts to create an on-going initiative.

Submissions to date, which include purchasing a motorcycle jacket from a thrift shop to take someone on a ride along, and buying ice cream for a complete stranger, have been showcased on the dedicated microsite.

“The New Year is always a good time to take a step back and evaluate where you are on your journey and what you aspire to do,” said Jonathan Mildenhall, chief marketing officer of Airbnb.

“For Airbnb, hospitality is personal and we are committed to spreading a sense of belonging far and wide.

“What better way to showcase that than by inviting our global community to extend a gesture of hospitality to a complete stranger?

“Today, we asked our passionate and wildly creative community to see what they will do, and watch how they inspire others to pay-it-forward with #OneLessStranger.”

Airbnb is committed to the company wide ethos of connecting people so that they can belong anywhere.

#OneLessStranger is just one of the many ways the company hopes to inspire others to pursue this goal as well.