By Matthew Muir | Staff Writer
Hotel Indigo Waco-Baylor’s recently announced Charity of the Month partnership program will work with 12 nonprofits through 2019.
The “Charity of the Month” program seeks to highlight a charity every month to help raise money and give back to the Waco community. The partner charities for 2019 are Caritas, CASA of McLennan County, Esther’s Closet, H.O.T. Autism Network, Fuzzy Friends, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas, Talitha Koum Institute, Rainbow Room, Waco Habitat for Humanity, Susan G. Komen, Shepherd’s Heart Food Pantry and Toys for Tots.These charities represent goals as varied as battling cancer, fighting hunger and helping underprivileged youth.
This is the first year for the Charity of the Month partnership, but it isn’t Hotel Indigo’s first foray into charity work in the Waco community. Many of the groups chosen for the 2019 program have worked with Hotel Indigo before, said Jacquelyn Baumann, Hotel Indigo’s director of sales.
“The organizations and nonprofits have reached out to us to partner with us for events over the last seven years that we’ve been open. We’ve really kept everyone’s information on file,” Baumann said. “We’ve made a lot of donations over the years, a lot of in-kind gifts, but this is something that we wanted to do based on who is really helping the community in unique ways.”
Shepherd’s Heart Food Pantry is one of the organizations on the 2019 list that Hotel Indigo has worked with in the past. In addition to the food pantry, Shepherd’s Heart provides classes on cooking, personal finance and entrepreneurship, and operates the Things From the Heart resale store to raise extra funds for food. Robert Gager, the executive director of Shepherd’s Heart, shared some of his previous experiences working with Hotel Indigo.
“They’ve collected food, they’ve called and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this food for you.’ That’s how we created a friendship in the first place.” Gager said. “They like what we’re doing and we enjoy their help. We work with a lot of other businesses and individuals in the community and that’s how we get by. This is all volunteers and donations.”
Although 2019 is only three months old, Hotel Indigo is already looking toward the future. New organizations have already applied to be a part of next year’s program, and Baumann says Hotel Indigo’s management company is building four new hotels in Waco, and the partnerships with nonprofits will expand in tandem.
“When you look at it on that scale the amount of people that will be exposed to these organizations as well as the amount of funds being donated is really at a different level,” Baumann said. “It’s important that people understand that we really do respect and love the neighborhood we’re in and the community we’re in and this is our way of genuinely trying to give back.”