With more than 4,000 hotels in over 100 countries, Best Western is a devoted member in thousands of local communities around the world. We feel a deep commitment to assist our neighbors whose lives are affected by disaster.
Best Western partners with the Red Cross of Canada as well as the American Red Cross to be a first responder in public emergencies. During tragedies such as Hurricane Sandy, the Yarnell Fires and the Boston Marathon bombing, Best Western employees and Best Western Rewards members have responded tremendously, giving over $120,000 to disaster relief efforts. The Canadian Red Cross provides vital resources to many disasters inside and outside of Canadian borders, including the Lac-Mégantic disaster in Quebec and the floods in Alberta.
Best Western launched a relief effort in July to help those affected by the Yarnell, Ariz., fire, which tragically took the lives of 19 fire fighters. Best Western For A Better World® teamed up with the American Red Cross and the 100 Club of Arizona to raise disaster relief funds totaling $29,278.84.
"This summer's wildfires have been the most devastating we've seen in a very long time in Arizona," said Geri Wright, chief development officer at the American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter. "It's at times like this that we pull together as a community, and we so appreciate the generous support of everyone at Best Western who reached out to help their fellow Arizonans in need."
"No matter what disaster our communities face, the Red Cross will be there. And it's comforting to know that Best Western is helping to ensure that the Red Cross is ready, at a moment's notice, to respond to a disaster. Our heartfelt thanks for their generous support."
Along with responding to the Yarnell Hill Fire, the American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter responded to four other wildfires in the past month, providing much-needed assistance to hundreds of people across Arizona.
For the Doce Fire, Bicycle Fire, Yarnell Hill Fire, Dean Peak Fire and Shipman Fire, the Red Cross distributed 60,226 meals and snacks, 39,853 bulk items and 328 comfort kits. It made 997 health services contacts and 623 mental health contacts, and it provided 331 overnight stays and processed 239 Safe and Well registrations. It utilized 685 personnel and 35 emergency response vehicles.
In addition to opening six shelters - in Prescott, Payson, Wickenburg, Kingman and Kearny - for the five blazes, the Red Cross operated a recovery center at the Yarnell Community Presbyterian Church to provide resources to Yarnell residents. At the recovery center, meals, snacks and water were served; ice and cleaning supplies were distributed; nurses replaced medications, eyeglasses and contacts; and mental health volunteers offered emotional support and long-term coping strategies.