Hotels spread holiday cheer worldwide
Christmas tree lighting ceremonies fund programs to help children in China and abroad, reports.
othing warms the hear t quite like the lighting of a Christmas tree. Every year around this time, hotels welcome the Christmas season and express gratitude to their guests with similar ceremonies.
Beyond carols and traditional food, some hotels look for ways to reach out to those in need, as a special holiday gift.
The Hilton Beijing’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony took place on December 3 with a charity event, during which the renowned “Christmas Train & Village” made its way to the hotel lobby, as it has for several years’ Christmas celebrations.
Through sponsors and guests’ donations, the installation helped to raise more than 125,000 yuan ($18,110) for the charity Morning Tears, an organization that focuses on helping the children of convicts.
Since its debut in 2010, the mission of the Hilton Beijing’s Christmas Train & Village has been to exemplify social responsibility.
Throughout the past seven years, the project and its affiliated Christmas Charity Bazaar have raised a total of almost 1 million yuan for several charities, focusing on causes benefiting children.
The hotel has been supporting the Morning Tears Organization for four consecutive years, since 2013, to help children whose parents are serving time in prison. The Hilton Beijing’s management visited the home of the Morning Tears program in Zhengzhou, Henan province, and initiated various academic and athletic programs for the children.
The hotel also conducted first aid training for teachers to ensure children receive proper aid during emergencies. Its kitchen and housekeeping staff offered hygiene classes to help caregivers to improve the children’s environment.
“We have done wonderful work in the community for seven years to improve the lives of children,” said Stefan Schmid, general manager of the Hilton Beijing.
“As Hilton Beijing’s staff, we hope the ceremony is an opportunity to make a positive difference in our local communities.”
Collaborating with maternal and children’s brand Sheng Tong Tong, Four Seasons Hotel Beijing set a Guinness World Record with this year’s Christ- mas charity event on Dec 10.
The “Largest Soft Toy Mosaic” in the world was constructed using more than 4,000 Homie bears, which covered 133 square meters.
After setting the record, the bears are being sold to the public. Five percent of the sales will be donated to the Educating Girls of Rural China program, a non-profit that seeks to give the gift of schooling to underprivileged girls.
“It’s time to enjoy a new spirit of love, hope and joy sent through each one of those twinkling lights on the Christmas tree with friends and families,” said Andrew De Brito, general manager of Four Seasons Hotel Beijing. “It’s also a time for giving, to light up with hope for underprivileged girls.”
In t h e s o u t h e a s t o f t h e capital, Sofitel Wanda Beijing encourages guests to purchase an Orbis star, each priced be tween 30 and 50 yuan, write their wishes on them and hang them on a Christmas tree in the hotel lobby. Orbis is an international non-governmental charity organization which devotes its resources to aiding the visually impaired all over the world.
The hotel is committed to raising funds for the children through “A Thousand Stars for Orbis”.
The hotel’s General Mana g e r Je r e m y A n i e r e a n d Director of Orbis North Asia George Smith hung the first two Orbis stars on the Christmas tree on Nov 24.
The charity event started during the hotel’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony. By Dec 10, the tree was full of Orbis stars. According to the hotel, money from sales of the Orbis stars will be donated.
In the west of the city, the Ritz-Carlton Beijing, Financial Street paid attention to eco-friendly produc ts and nature conservation.
The hotel introduced the new and meaningful concept through the eco-friendly Teddy Bear & BeePanda Afternoon Tea in cooperation with Shan Shui Conservation Center, a nature conservation organization established in 2007.
BeePanda, a partner project of the Shan Shui Conservation Center, aims to integrate sustainable local production of honey and other produce into the development strategies of local communities of giant pandas’ natural habitats, contributing to biodiversity conservation, as well as social and environmental welfare.
Through the production and consumption of BeePanda honey, the hotel hopes to raise awareness among beekeepers and consumers about the interdependence among species in a healthy ecosystem.
As in the past, the hotel invited children from Sun Village to perform during the Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Dec 2. Sun Village is a non-governmental charity organization dedicated to nurturing and providing education to children whose parents are in prison.
A l t h o u g h t h e Wa l d o r f Astoria Beijing did not hold a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, it raised 4,568 yuan from a charity dinner, part of the “Meet me at the hyphen” Waldorf Astoria Ball, on Dec 9.
The money raised will be used to plant trees in Northwest China to improve the environment and help local people to increase their income.
We hope the ceremony is an opportunity to make a positive difference in our local communities.”
Contact the writer at jiangwanjuan@ chinadaily.com.cn
Clockwise from top right: The Ritz-Carlton Beijing, Financial Street’s staff celebrate the Christmas season with children on Dec 2. Sofitel Wanda Beijing encourages guests to purchase an Orbis star to raise funds for the visually impaired. Four Seasons Hotel Beijing sets a Guinness World Record, using more than 4,000 toy bears to construct the “Largest Soft Toy Mosaic” in the world. The Beijing Hilton stages a Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Dec 3. Stefan Schmid, general manager of the Hilton Beijing