Hospitality Helping Hands

Hospitality Helping Hands volunteers used colorful ribbons to decorate the fence around Vancouver's Mount Pleasant Childcare Centre.

Hospitality Helping Hands volunteers used colorful ribbons to decorate the fence around Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant Childcare Centre.

PCMA Volunteers Brighten Up Local Daycare Centers

Convening Leaders attendees got creative for this year’s Hospitality Helping Hands (HHH) program, which is designed to give back to the annual meeting’s host community. The recipient was the Britannia Community Services Centre daycare program. In conjunction with the theme of Convening Leaders 2016, “Cultivating Creative Moments,” nearly 140 attendees spent yesterday morning cleaning, painting, decorating, and building playscapes for the Mount Pleasant Childcare and Grandview Terrace Childcare facilities — early-childhood daycare centers serving at-risk communities.

While some attendees cleaned and painted the walls inside the facility, others went outside to build small play kitchens and playscapes. Volunteers also decorated fences with brightly colored ribbons. According to Tourism Vancouver, daycare funding is one of the biggest struggles for Vancouver families. The children who attend the two daycare centers helped by participants represent diverse backgrounds, with up to 50 percent receiving government assistance.

Participants paid $85 to volunteer for the sold-out event. HHH is just one project of PCMA’s Network for the Needy, which receives donations from the PCMA Education Foundation based on ticket sales from Convening Leaders’ popular Party With a Purpose, which happens tonight.

Leona Zahn, meetings coordinator for the American Society of Hematology in Washington, D.C., volunteered with HHH for a second consecutive year. “I love all the Hospitality Helping Hands recipients,” she said, “because you can really feel you’re making a difference in everyone’s life, whether it’s helping kids or making sure someone has something to eat.”

HHH is brought to you by Network for the Needy Founding Partner Global Experience Specialists Inc. (GES), Experient, and the Marriott Convention & Resort Network. “In addition to serving our customers, our associates serve our communities year round through Marriott’s Spirit to Serve philosophy and action,” said Todd Sherstad, director of Marriott’s Convention & Resort Network. “What’s really special about this project is seeing the results of the action you take. Today’s work will give a fresh look and energy to the facility, making it a brighter, cleaner, happier place.”

Engagement Unlimited, the Vancouver business that helped PCMA identify a worthy project, led Sunday’s activity. Heather Pelletier, director of sales for Engagement Unlimited, serves on the board of Mount Pleasant Childcare and sends her young daughter there. “There is a real mix of incomes in the area around Mount Pleasant, from young professionals to families who need financial assistance,” Pelletier said. “The structure is probably 40 years old, and it’s been about 20 years since it has had a makeover. There’s never enough in the budget to do everything that needs to be done, so this event makes a real difference.”

The event concluded with a luncheon at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel. PCMA members who couldn’t participate in the activity had the opportunity to make a donation. Typically, about 80 percent of each year’s HHH registrants are repeat participants.