|LAS VEGAS/ARLINGTON, Va., October 13, 2005- BridgeStreet Worldwide, a leading international provider of corporate housing to business and leisure travelers, recently joined forces with Rebuilding Together, a national organization of volunteers that preserves and revitalizes houses and communities, in a unique community outreach effort during BridgeStreet's annual convention in Las Vegas. More than 80 associates from the BridgeStreet Worldwide family, including global and vendor partners, who went to Las Vegas to build teamwork and learn new skills, spent part of their time helping a local senior citizen restore her most prized possession, her home.
"Conventions usually inspire attendees for a couple of weeks after the event, but we wanted to do something that had a more enduring legacy," said Lee Curtis, BridgeStreet president. "Rather than use the convention as an opportunity to participate in such team-building activities as cooking contests or scavenger hunts, we chose to volunteer our time to help one elderly Las Vegas resident named Ofelia maintain her independence by doing major work around her house to make it a lot more livable. Partnering with Rebuilding Together in a community outreach with BridgeStreet associates was a great decision that yielded tremendous rewards for everyone involved."
Working with a local chapter of Rebuilding Together, BridgeStreet associates from 35 states and three foreign countries rolled up their sleeves to build a wheelchair ramp, rebuild the front walkway, clean out overgrown brush, and fill an entire dumpster with accumulated trash. What remained of nearly $5,000 in materials BridgeStreet purchased for the project was later donated to Rebuilding Together.
"I've lived in this house since 1953, but at my age, I haven't been able to keep up with it like I used to," Ofelia said. "I am overwhelmed! The wheelchair ramp and the cleaning up of the outside is like a miracle. You folks have truly touched me," said the former social worker.
Curtis noted that when the company was planning this event nearly a year ago, it decided the best way to build teamwork was by helping others. "You forget about the fun and games after a couple of weeks, but the smile on Ofelia's face will last a lifetime." He added that the program with Rebuilding Together will be a permanent part of all future BridgeStreet conferences.
"We were a little skeptical about getting up at six in the morning, especially after a transatlantic flight, to start on the project," said Amanda Stewart, assistant general manager of BridgeStreet's United Kingdom office. "When it was all over, I was happy to say that it was one of the best conference experiences of my life."
"As far as we know, this may have been the first time, or one of the first, that a convention was used as an opportunity to participate in this sort of revitalization project," Curtis said. "We hope others will start their own traditions of giving something back to their communities."
BridgeStreet Worldwide, a subsidiary of Interstate Hotels & Resorts, is one of the world's largest corporate housing and serviced apartment providers. BridgeStreet and its network of Global Partners offer corporate apartments located in over 90 MSAs throughout the United States and internationally. BridgeStreet properties meet uncompromising standards of quality, comfort and service. For more information about the company and to learn more about how BridgeStreet is Making Corporate Housing Easy, visit www.bridgestreet.com or call 1-800-BSTREET.