Harrisonburg, VA (November 14, 2011) — C.A.R.E. (Cooperative Association of Resort Exchangers), the vacation industry’s premier trade association began exploring in 2010 how the association could give back to the vacation communities that provide its members and their clients with outstanding vacation opportunities. From this desire to express thankfulness to areas that have hosted C.A.R.E. conferences and helped make C.A.R.E. member companies’ businesses successful, launched the “C.A.R.E. Gives Back” program, a volunteer philanthropic activity for C.A.R.E. members to participate in during semi-annual conferences held in popular resort and vacation destinations throughout the US, Mexico, Europe and the Caribbean.
C.A.R.E. Gives Back began in the spring of 2010 with a group of 20 vacation industry professionals volunteering their services at a New Orleans food bank. Concerned about “what she had gotten herself into” volunteer Linda Stockwell of Preferred Access later commented that “the day turned out to be fun while getting to know C.A.R.E. members better” and that “I felt good about being able to help so many people”.
C.A.R.E. Gives Back continued to grow and during the fall 2010 conference volunteers prepared and served over 1,000 meals to the Phoenix, AZ area homeless and needy. The experience humbled volunteer Tina Stafford of Accommodations Unlimited who “had never witnessed such tremendous need. The expressions of appreciation from those served by the C.A.R.E. volunteers were overwhelming”.
While attending the 2011 spring and fall semiannual conferences members have participated in C.A.R.E. Gives Back opportunities at the Northeast Focal Point Senior Center in Deerfield Beach, FL, and at the Pacific Gardens Mission in Chicago, IL. Projects at these opportunities included; parking lot maintenance, gardening and landscaping, assisting senior daycare clients with crafts, and perhaps most interestingly, helping with the cultivation of a worm farm that creates soil for growing vegetables used by local shelter kitchens. C.A.R.E. member and Gives Back participant Renee Wagner of Travel To Go commented that the experience “was more than an opportunity to offer our many hands, it was an opportunity for personal growth and to bond with colleagues. I am so grateful to be in a position to give back.”
C.A.R.E. looks forward to continuing its expression of gratitude through the Gives Back program to the resort and vacation communities that provide fulfillment of its member’s vacation dreams.
Since 1985 C.A.R.E. members including Travel Clubs, Wholesalers, Developers, HOA’s, Resorts, and Management and Exchange Companies have been providing each other with opportunities for vacation fulfillment and exchanges and revenue enhancement through increased inventory utilization and yield management. For additional information visit C.A.R.E. at www.care-online.org, or contact C.A.R.E. Administrator Bonnie Kosco at 800-636-5646.