April is Hyatt’s month of global community service, and on April 20th, over 100 Hyatt volunteers gathered at Fulton Elementary School for the Hyatt Day of Service in the Back of the Yards community!
City Year AmeriCorps members led Hyatt volunteers in 7 service projects, which ranged from painting (murals, garden signs, inspirational quotes, and more!) to construction (building garden benches and creating comfortable nook spaces for students to read).
Before we deployed for service, we heard some words of thanks and encouragement from City Year Chicago Executive Director, Rebeca Nieves Huffman, as well as Hyatt’s Global Head of Corporate Responsibility, Brigitta Witt, and Chief Executive Officer Mark Hoplamazian.
Both Brigitta and Mark spoke to the importance Hyatt’s employees place on giving back to their communities at-large, through the Hyatt Thrive initiative, which seeks to “create an environment for people to thrive by building strong communities and fostering sustainable environmental practices.”
City Year Chicago Executive Director Rebeca Nieves Huffman expresses her appreciation to Hyatt volunteers
Brigitta, speaking to the volunteers, appreciated them for their dedication, saying, “thank you all for taking the time to volunteer. I know that it’s not easy, and I know that when we get back to the office, the pile is going to higher than when we left – but I also know that there are over 140 people registered to be here today. We had a huge turnout yesterday at the Food Depository, and we have a lot of people signed up [for our service event] for Saturday. So what that tells us is that, in a Hyatt world, we really value the opportunity to give back to our communities.
I’m really excited to be here today in particular, because this [Fulton] is our second adopted school in the Back of the Yards community. We partnered with City Year, and were able to give 83 students who need us most 1-on-1 attention.”
With those words of encouragement, volunteers broke into teams and started their service! As the day progressed, we started to see the transformation take place!
At the end of the day, Hyatt volunteers and City Year AmeriCorps members heard a few words from Principal Rua about our collective impact on Fulton, and the community.
She said, “‘when I first spoke to Jessica –from Hyatt – she told me ‘give me your wish list!’ And I described how I imagined the school; I described a hallway with college murals…a beautiful space, so that the kids know that people care – and it truly exceeded my expectations. I can’t even explain to you how full I feel right now when I see all the work you all have done for our kids.”
Thank you Hyatt for your volunteers terrific work, and for your continued commitment to service in Chicago!
Be sure to check out the impact that Hyatt has in communities across the world by searching #HyattThrive!