Tell Me Something Good
Hospitality is more than a business for AAHOA Members. It’s a way to fulfill the American Dream, support the industry, and make a difference in the community. Since its inception, AAHOA has served as a strong platform for its members to do just that.
Over the years, the nearly 20,000 AAHOA Members have built schools in India, stepped in to provide aid and relief after natural disasters, donated toward hospitality scholarships, raised thousands upon thousands of dollars to uplift communities, worked with nonprofit organizations to combat human trafficking, and so much more.
To continue to build on these community-minded efforts and provide a new avenue for members to support charitable activities, the AAHOA Charitable Foundation launched at the 2023 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show in April 2023. The news was well-received and laid a foundation for a future of lasting impact.
“AAHOA has always been in a position to give back to the community and has done many projects when it comes to charity,” said Jagruti Panwala, AAHOA Past Chair (2019-2020). “I think having a foundation speaks volumes that AAHOA is here to help humanity all the time, not just during charity golf tournaments or on an individual basis.”
Those phenomenal opportunities set the AAHOA Charitable Foundation apart from similar charities and organizations – one of which is the potential to make an impact in the U.S. and around the world. Many AAHOA Members are of Indian heritage, but some members were born and raised in Europe and Africa. With its local and international connections, the AAHOA community is in touch with humanitarian needs at home and abroad.
“A lot of AAHOA Members and hotel owners started from the ground up,” said Vinay Patel, AAHOA Past Chair (2021-2022). “They’ve been at the bottom, they’ve been through some tough times, and they’ve worked hard. They understand how it feels to have needs and move forward.”
“AAHOA Members are small business owners who operate hotels within their communities. They already have strong community connections and a desire to make a difference in the lives of those they serve,” added Tejal Patel, AAHOA Women Hoteliers Director Western Division. “The foundation is a way for us to pull our resources together and make a greater impact than what we could have done individually.”
There’s also the possibility that the new charity foundation will extend a glimmer of hope to hotel staff.
“We have housekeepers whose children may need assistance with a scholarship,” explained Vimal Patel, AAHOA Gulf Regional Director. “So, if someone has been working for my hotel business for more than two or three years, I want to make sure I’m taking care of them and that their children have the opportunity to get a better education thanks to assistance from the new charity venue.”
UNITED AND STRONG
While one person can make a difference, there’s power in joining forces together to reshape the world. That profound strength was instrumental in getting the AAHOA Charitable Foundation off the ground.
A 10-person ad-hoc committee collaborated and worked through all the ins and outs of starting a foundation. The ad-hoc committee members included AAHOA Past Chairs, current board members, and longtime members. The foundation was launched quickly thanks to the committee’s strong teamwork and passion.
As we look into the future, there’s a wealth of opportunities and promise. For one, the foundation will make a concerted effort to partner with more organizations that are spearheading meaningful and tangible change in their communities. While AAHOA has partnered with well-established organizations like Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking (BEST) to fight human trafficking, Covenant House California to support hundreds of homeless youth, and Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities to keep families together, the new charitable foundation will extend – and magnify – AAHOA’s reach to offer support in new areas.
Pledge to be all in
You can become an agent of positive transformation when you pledge to donate to the AAHOA Charitable Foundation. AAHOA is seeking contributions from members, with no contribution being too small. It is anticipated all contributions will be deductible to the fullest extent provided by applicable law.
Visit the AAHOA Charitable Foundation Pledge Form and pay it forward in your community.