Partnership story

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Signature Partnerships: Check Out for Children™

Check Out For Children™ is an alliance between Starwood Hotels & Resorts and UNICEF. The Check Out For Children™ mechanism is incredibly simple yet effective. Upon arrival at a Starwood hotel, guests are advised they will be invited to add one US$1 (or local currency equivalent) to their bill upon check out, as a donation to UNICEF. Any guest not wishing to donate merely informs reception accordingly. Guests wishing to make a larger donation are invited to contact any member of the front office staff.

This unique partnership between UNICEF and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and their guests has raised US$22 million to support life-saving programs for children throughout the world.

Roeland Vos, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle East, shares, “Over the nearly 15 years of Starwood’s Check Out for Children™ partnership, guests and associates at participating hotels have raised US$ 22 million for UNICEF globally. This has enabled the vaccination of more than one million children against six potentially fatal diseases and saved their lives. That’s exactly what our partnership with UNICEF is all about. We look forward to working with UNICEF for many years to come to raise further funds and give vulnerable children around the world a chance in life.”

Since 2008, Check Out for Children™ has widened its remit to support other areas of UNICEF’s work through various programmes which reflect the core values of our distinct brands:

- Sheraton works with orphaned and vulnerable children around the world through the ‘Kids Belong’ program;
- Westin *provides clean water and sanitation facilities in schools and communities across Africa through the ‘Water for Life’ project;
- *Four Points by Sheraton
prevents mother-to-child transmission of HIV through the ‘Keep it Simple, Save a Life’ initiative;
- Le Méridien’s ‘ART IS LIFE’ program helps to educate young people in Africa about HIV prevention through media, drama and music;
- The Luxury Collection gives guests the opportunity to support UNICEF’s work on the prevention and treatment of malaria through the ‘Life is Unique’ program.

Since its launch in 1995, Check Out for Children™ has reached thousands of Starwood’s guests, demonstrating Starwood’s commitment to supporting the communities in which it operates and at the same time increasing awareness of UNICEF’s work. To find out more…

What is the story behind Check Out for Children™?
Check Out for Children™ was launched in Europe in 1995 in Sheraton Hotels, Asia Pacific in 1996, and finally hotels in Africa and the Middle East joined the program in 1997. The program expanded to include other Starwood brands including Westin Hotels & Resorts, Luxury Collection, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Four Points by Sheraton in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. The commitment and dedication of Starwood staff in more than 200 hotels in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and over 50 properties in Asia Pacific is critical to the program’s long-lasting success.

Robert Scott, former Senior Vice-President, General Counsel for Starwood Hotels & Resorts – Europe, Africa and Middle East Division, was the pioneer of the initiative, which now operates in more than 250 hotels all over the world. Robert was motivated by the belief that Sheraton, and its guests would welcome the opportunity to put something back into the international community and approached UNICEF with the idea of helping some of the world’s most vulnerable children.

Employee Engagement
Check Out for Children™ has become an integral part of the Starwood Hotel operations in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East and Asia Pacific properties. Since 2000, Starwood associate fundraising campaigns have raised over US$1 million, in addition to the core guest program.

Europe, Africa, and the Middle East (EAME)
In 2008, Starwood associates showed their commitment to Check Out for Children™ by raising over $500,000, the highest amount since the partnership began, including a grueling sponsored cycle ride along 450km of The Tour de France route which raised over $350,000 for a child to child radio project in Mozambique.