Between the Sheets: Tourism businesses prioritize the local community
As holiday lights begin to brighten local neighborhoods, members of Monterey County’s $2.85-billion hospitality industry are wrapping up a year spent supporting the community they call home.
Tourism employs nearly 25,000 people in the region. These individuals make a measurable impact as they volunteer, donate money and support schools, fund drives, coastal cleanup events, civic groups and nonprofit initiatives throughout the year. The generosity of hospitality employees is part of an altruistic mindset embraced across the tourism industry.
Members of the Monterey County Hospitality Association (MCHA), the trade association that leads advocacy, education and employee appreciation programs for local tourism, participate in philanthropic efforts that impact thousands of local residents annually. From gathering toys and food to distribute during the holidays, to sending unused toiletries to local shelters, hospitality happily gives in many ways.
Hotels partner with the Community Reuse Network to provide gently-used furniture to nonprofits. Hotels, wineries and restaurants regularly donate food and drink, meeting spaces, gift certificates and prize packages for benefit auctions. Often, these events support the work of the Food Bank for Monterey County, Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County, Make-a-Wish Foundation, The Salvation Army Monterey Corpsand other charitable organizations.
Six out of 10 Monterey County families spend at least 50 percent of their monthly budget on housing and child care alone.