Hotels for Heroes is a program launching this year to allow Americans of frequent guest programs to donate their hotel points to assist the families of wounded veterans who need lodging while staying near the hospital. Marriott International, Wyndham Hotels Group and AmericInn Hotels & Suites are the initial three hotel companies to sign on as participants.
Hotels for Heroes was created with legislation introduced by Maryland Congressionman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and Senator Ben Cardin (both D-MD) in November 2011 and passed with bipartisan support in the “National Defense Authorization Act” December 2011.
“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.
Hotels for Heroes launched this week with the announcement that Marriott, Wyndham and AmericInn have signed on to the program. Other hotel loyalty programs are asked to join the effort and agree to participate by Memorial Day when organizers hope to be ready to accept donations of hotel points.
The Fisher House Foundation which runs Hero Miles will also oversee the Hotels for Heroes program.
Best Western, Choice, Hyatt, La Quinta, Starwood, Carlson, Hilton and IHG… I hope that most or all of these hotel chains sign on to the program in the next two months.