Hilton gives employees a month off to help others

17 Nov 2019 by Tom Otley
Hilton Thrive

Hilton has announced the winners of a programme that lets its employees take a sabbatical in order to do their dream charitable endeavour.

As well as four weeks paid time off, the Hilton Thrive Sabbatical gives the group $5,000 each towards their goal.

The winners include Hiro Hsu, director of operations at Hilton Chengdu, who will bike across Australian bush country raising money for a charity that supports youth education and underprivileged children; Cassie Neidhart, HR director at Hilton San Diego Bayfront, who will deliver care packages to chemo patients from San Diego to Memphis; and Roger McCall, a doorman at Hilton Sydney, who will volunteer at an orphanage and teach English.

The programme is open to all hotel and corporate employees.

“Every day at Hilton, our passionate team members contribute to the Hilton Effect, creating a positive impact on our guests, on their fellow team members and in their communities,” said Matt Schuyler, Hilton’s chief human resources officer.

“Over the past two years, we have been inspired by the life-changing experiences our Sabbatical winners have pursued for themselves and cultivated for others.”

“It is our privilege to support them in pursuing their dreams and being the positive change they want to see in the world.”

A previous Hilton Thrive Sabbatical recipient was Mira Macud, pictured above, an administrative assistant at Conrad Dubai.

Eleven years ago, Mira left her home country of the Philippines to work in Dubai so she could send money home to her deaf son.

During her sabbatical, she returned home to learn American Sign Language at the Philippine School for the Deaf, allowing her to have a conversation with her now 15-year-old son for the first time.

She spent the allowance on hundreds of meals for volunteers at the school and built a relationship with the team at Conrad Manila, who offered her a position at the property so she could live with her son again.

This year’s winners are also:

  • Fiona Robinson, facilities manager at Hilton Glasgow, who will take her husband, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease three years ago, to travel the South Pacific to visit family while he is still able to travel.
  • Darshini Govindaraju, a regional learning manager, who will become certified in a classical traditional dance that is more than 2,000 years old.
  • Juan Sebastian Guerrero Rodriguez, chef de partie pat Hilton Bogota, who will travel around his home country of Colombia, sampling various cuisines from different cultures to inspire his cooking on property.
  • Marta Sanz, marketing manager at Hilton Madrid Airport, who will honour her grandmother’s memory by providing three grandparents with their dream holidays.
  • Mohamed Sarkees, assistant cost controller manager at Hilton Sharm Waterfalls Resort, who will help the Bedouin people in Dahab, Egypt by providing weaving machines to families as a means to increase their household income.
  • Jeanne Vaughn, Hilton Reservations and Customer Care, who will reunite her daughters through volunteerism with the LGBTQ community and in support of her oldest daughter, who is transgender.

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