Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch has teamed up with Twitter community @Follow_SA to help the Twitter Blanket Drive collect blankets for those in need this winter, and is issuing a challenge to the travel trade rally their troops and try to be the company that collects the most blankets.
The hotel will be hosting an official Twitter Blanket Drive event (#TBDZA) on 26 May 2012 when it will give away a dinner, bed and breakfast voucher for two to whoever contributes the most blankets.
Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch (@ProteaHotels, #fireandicema) will offer one of its signature milkshakes to everyone who drops off a blanket on 26 May.
They will be invited to tweet images of their drop-off and anyone who donates 250 blankets will get special mention on Twitter. The person who donates, or encourages a company to donate, the most blankets will win a voucher for a two-night stay for two at the hotel.
#TBD started just over two years ago with a single tweet posted by Melanie Minnaar (@melanieminnaar). When she called on the South African Twitter community to donate blankets to those in need in winter in 2010 she was hoping to get no more than 20 people together for a “Tweet-up” (Twitter meet-up) where they would hand blankets over to a charity together.
Within two weeks the idea had gone national and over 700 blankets were raised to be distributed to charities. In 2011 the number leapt to 2 700 blankets and the initiative is hoping to more than double that figure this year. There are currently 80 000 Twitter users in South Africa, according to the initiative, and if just 1% of them donated one blanket 8 000 blankets could be given to charity.
Nationwide dropping points (each collecting for a charity of its choice) will be available for those outside of Johannesburg who can’t attend the #TBDZA event.
“We at Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch will be keeping thousands of GUESTS warm and comfortable this winter. Not everyone is lucky enough to experience our unique hospitality, so we’re taking up the challenge to collect blankets and we sincerely hope the travel trade will come to the party as well.” said Anton Gillis, GM of Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch.
“The Protea Hospitality Group is committed to social investment,” he added. “Our hotels form part of the fabric of their local communities and giving back to them is a fundamental part of the work we do.”