Campaign aims to donate everyday items to 10,000 labourers

A charity campaign will have boxes of daily necessities distributed to construction workers in the UAE.

ABU DHABI // Boxes of daily necessities will be distributed to construction workers as part of a philanthropic initiative by an international hotel group.

Box Appeal, previously known as ShoeBox Appeal, launches today and involves 10 hotels - seven in the UAE - and aims to collect 10,000 boxes in the Emirates alone.

The initiative is run by Radisson Blu and Park Inn hotels in the Middle East in collaboration with the Red Crescent.

Anyone can participate by picking up a box from a Radisson Blu or Park Inn hotel in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or Sharjah, filling it with the required items and returning it to the hotel.

Each box contains a list of everyday items, including toothpaste, T-shirts and shaving cream.

Marko Hytonen, the area vice president of the Rezidor Hotel Group, said the campaign was an opportunity for people to give back to the community.

"Being in the hotel business, we know the amount of work that goes into a building being built," he said. "So this is a way to give back and support our expat workforce who help build these beautiful facilities that we enjoy to this day."

This is the first time the initiative has gone beyond the UAE, Mr Hytonen added, with the campaign extending to Oman, Bahrain and Egypt.

"It seems fitting to take this campaign region-wide this year and help as many people as possible," he said.

"It only takes a little time and effort to make a big difference."

The annual campaign began as a solo initiative by the Radisson Blu Hotel in Media City in 2007, and slowly expanded.

To date, more than 20,000 boxes have been donated, worth about Dh2 million.

The campaign runs until September 15 as part of the group's responsible business action month, but Mr Hytonen said the response during Ramadan had motivated the group to run similar activities during the holy month every year.

"It's a time of giving," Mr Hytonen said. "It's perfectly in line with the Ramadan values of being generous and kind to others.

"This has been the reason why so many people, including our partners, have jumped at the opportunity. It's wonderful to see so many people coming together for such a great cause."

Published: August 15, 2011 04:00 AM


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