By Shelley Lotz, GSN Board Member
Our communities have been devastated by the recent natural disasters all over the world: Texas, Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, and countless others are counting on us to step up and help each other. The spa and hospitality community is taking action to support the relief efforts. It is heartwarming to see many of our GSN members, sponsors and partners making an impact.
The Green Spa Network Board of Directors had a very moving discussion last week on the impacts of these tragedies and how important it is to act. We are compelled to take action and inspire action. Lisa Jacobs, Emeritus Board member, added a heartfelt message: “Never has it been more important to build, support and inspire the resiliency of people and planet. The gigantic tap on the shoulder by the Universe can no longer be ignored and is telling us that the mission and vision of GSN has never been more relevant and meaningful.”
How can we build a sustainable and resilient community? There is a “fierce urgency of now” says Tara Grodjesk. Bonnie Baker agreed we have a “profound dependence, and interdependence, on the balance of elements in our world.”
Who is making a difference?
The fires in the Northwest have kept most of us in our town inside for over a month due to the smoke, but we are thankful we still have homes and businesses to return to. It’s times like this when we are especially thankful for charitable organizations making a difference. Beyond the basic humanitarian responsibility of donating to those in need, I felt an overwhelming sense of urgency to support the beautiful countries I have personally visited. The tourism and spa industry is especially dependent on our planet’s health, natural resources, and climate impacts.
As Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica, stated at the opening of Breathless Resort and Spa, in Montego Bay, this week: “There is an urgent need for responsibility, adaptation and resilience as we recognize our changing realities. Climate change is real and it will disproportionately affect those of us who are least prepared to respond.”
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism has great information on the islands, who to contact locally, and what is happening, including The Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund and latest updates on the destinations who are back in business, which are vital for their community. Click here to learn more.
Recovery is dependent on the tourism industry so you can feel good about booking those vacations once they are up and running! Here are some organizations I donated to:
- Heart to Heart
- The Global Giving Organization: Relief fund sites for the Mexico earthquake, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria Relief in Puerto Rico and Caribbean, and more.
- Norwegian Cruise lines partnered with All hands Volunteers
- The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands
Additionally, you can check out:
- Charity Navigator that rates charities so you can make sure you are giving to responsible organizations.
- The Professional Beauty Association has had a disaster relief fund for many years.
- American Spa’s article on how the Spa community is giving back during hurricane season through various organizations.
- A local effort to rebuild Mexican Communities affected by the earthquake, intimidated by Mexican actors Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal.
Share Your Actions
Are you taking action to support the islands or areas affected? Share your story with us by emailing Kate, GSN Community Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are grateful for our spa community! Thank you for supporting those in need.
GSN’s Mission is to promote the vital connections between personal well-being, economic sustainability and health of our planet. We cause positive change by building vital community and awakening inspired action. Help us make an impact and join us as we gather at our 2018 10th Anniversary Congress in March and Buyer’s Conference in May. You will find meaning, connection, and a shared purpose.