Aug062012

Hotels for Heroes: Points donations for military medical center lodging

Hotels for Heroes was created as part of the National Defense Authorization Act passed December 2011 to provide free lodging options for military veterans and their families while receiving medical treatment.

Hotels for Heroes launched in March 2012 with Marriott, Wyndham and AmericInn signing on as the initial hotel program partners. Best Western, Choice and Starwood are also currently hotel partners with “Hotels for Heroes”.

“Hotels for Heroes” Hotel Partners

  • AmericInn
  • Best Western
  • Choice Hotels
  • Marriott
  • Starwood
  • Wyndham

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Hotels for Heroes” will be an expansion of the national “Hero Miles” program that provides free round-trip airfare to wounded warriors recovering at military or VA medical centers as well as to friends and family visiting them. Flights under the “Hero Miles” program, which was created by Congressman Ruppersberger in 2003, are made possible through frequent flyer mile donations made by individual airline passengers. The “Hero Miles” program is administered by the Fisher House, a non-profit organization that opens its homes to military families visiting their injured loved ones at hospitals across the country. Fisher House recently announced its 25,000th ticket issued through the program.

http://dutch.house.gov/2011/12/hotels-for-heroes-program-passes-congress.shtml

 

Fisher House Foundation administers the “Hotels for Heroes” program, a service that provides free hotel rooms to wounded, injured, and ill military men and women who are undergoing treatment at a military or VA medical center
and to attend authorized events. All requests for a free hotel room are verified by an authorized official.

Hotel rooms are made possible through hotel point donations made by individual customers.

There are two categories of eligible recipients:
• Service men and women with military authorization may be given a free hotel room while receiving medical care if they are not eligible for government funded reimbursement.
• Qualifying service men and women may be given a free hotel room to enable their family or close friends to visit them while they are being treated at the medical center.

Fisher House Foundation administers the “Hotels for Heroes” program in partnership with the Department of Defense in accordance with Public Law 108-375, Section 585, the FY 05 Defense Authorization Act.

Hotel Partners
Fisher House Foundation has partnered with the following major hotel groups: AmericInn, Best Western, Choice
Hotels, Marriott Rewards, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., and Wyndham.

* Please note that our agreements with individual hotel groups only permit free rooms for wounded, injured, or ill military (or DoD civilian employees) and their families. These rooms will not be used for R&R travel or other travel not related to a medical condition.

Fisher House – Hotels for Heroes

 

How to Donate Points to Hotels for Heroes

Best Western Rewards Donation Link

Donation increments

  • 2,500 points
  • 5,000 points

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Choice Privileges Donation Link

Donation increments

  • 1,000 points
  • 2,000 points
  • 3,000 points
  • 4,000 points
  • 5,000 points

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Choice Privileges Donation online or call 888-770-6800.

 

Marriott Rewards Donation Link

Donation increments

  • 1,000 points
  • 5,000 points
  • 10,000 points
  • 20,000 points

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Wyndham Rewards Donation Link

Wyndham Rewards donated 10 million points to launch its partnership with Hotels for Heroes.

Wyndham Rewards Donation Increments

  • 50 points
  • 100 points
  • 200 points
  • 500 points
  • 750 points
  • 1,000 points
  • 2,500 points
  • 5,000 points
  • 10,000 points
  • 25,000 points

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AmericInn and Starwood Hotels do not appear to have donation links at this time or else I just did not locate them in my searches. Several of the Hotels for Heroes partners recently got up and running in July 2012 so these links are probably coming soon. Members can call AmericInn or SPG to learn more about donating points to Hotels for Heroes.

Tax Deduction Information

According to the Hotels for Heroes website, “The Internal Revenue Service does not recognize donations of hotel points as a  tax deduction since taxes were not collected from individuals when they earned the points. For further information consult IRS Publication 526 and/or your personal tax advisor.”

The Fisher House Program

Fisher House has provided lodging for military veterans and their families since 1990. Fisher Houses are operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Hotels for Heroes program allows more veterans and their families to receive lodging while new Fisher House projects are completed around the USA.

The Fisher House program is a unique private-public partnership that supports America’s military in their time of need. The program recognizes the special sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and the hardships of military service by meeting a humanitarian need beyond that normally provided by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

Because members of the military and their families are stationed worldwide and must often travel great distances for specialized medical care, Fisher House Foundation donates “comfort homes,” built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times – during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury.

There is at least one Fisher House at every major military medical center to assist families in need and to ensure that they are provided with the comforts of home in a supportive environment. Annually, the Fisher House program serves more than 17,000 families, and have made available over four million days of lodging to family members since the program originated in 1990. By law, there is no charge for any family to stay at a Fisher House operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs; and Fisher House Foundation uses donations to reimburse the individual Fisher Houses operated by the Army, Navy, and Air Force. No family pays to stay at any Fisher House!

In addition to constructing new houses, Fisher House Foundation continues to support existing Fisher Houses and help individual military families in need. We are also proud to administer and sponsor Scholarships for Military Children, the Hero Miles program, and co-sponsor the Newman’s Own Award.

The Fisher House Program

Fisher House Highlights

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www.FisherHouse.org homepage infographic.

Chain brand hotel rooms offered through loyalty programs by the hotel partners to Hotels for Heroes supplement the lodging availability for veterans and their families far beyond the 57 Fisher Houses in operation. Hotel loyalty points share the value of a roof over your head in a time of need.

Resource Links:

Hotels for Heroes – Fisher House

 

Loyalty Traveler original post link: http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2012/08/06/hotels-for-heroes-points-donations-for-military-medical-center-lodging/

Ric Garrido, writer and content owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. Why do such donations always require a minimum donation or a round figure? I have 432 Marriott points I am unlikely to add to and would be happy to donate, but I can’t. It would be genuinely charitable on behalf of Marrott etc if they let you use up ‘dead’ points in this way, except of course they would then take a cash hit.

  2. I have donated orphan miles to Hero Miles in the past. That said, it somewhat annoys me that there was a bill passed that essentially offloads what I consider government’s (=our) responsibility on the charity of a few.

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