Thanks to my lovely wife, Michelle for finding this story.
The OMNI Hotel in Dallas, Texas is opening their doors to 500 homeless men, women and children to spend the night in their hotel Christmas Eve. It’s something the hotel has been doing for 5 years. The GM, Ed Netzhammer looks forward to this day every year:
2011, just a month after the Omni Dallas opened, Netzhammer partnered with The SoupMobile and invited the homeless to be his guests. He’ll never forget the smiles on the faces of 500 men, women and children who are often overlooked. Homeless families were VIPS that Christmas Eve. They dined on restaurant-quality food at a banquet and slept on cotton sheets for a good night’s rest.
Just that alone would be a pretty awesome Christmas. But, the GM decided they wanted to do more this year. They’re kicking one family out of the hotel, to a better living situation:
“We are going to adopt a family,” said Netzhammer. “We call it A Home for the Holidays. We’re gonna find 2500 people who can give $12.”
“We have housing, food from Kroger, and you guys with NBC as a partner and, we’re sort of saying Texas connects us with our thousand people and we want to connect with another 1,500 more and take a family off the streets,” said Netzhammer.
What an awesome idea! Mobilizing his hotel to help the homeless wasn’t enough for this GM and the OMNI team. They wanted to take it further and adopt a family, someone who may have spent the next year without a home. Instead, with the contributions of employees, guests and others, a family will have a new home next year. That’s pretty cool in my book.
I understand not everyone celebrates Christmas. But, no matter what you celebrate (or nothing at all), I can’t help but think this story hits home for all of us.
I try not to take for granted how lucky our family is. We’re relatively healthy, have a good place to live, good schools for our kids and get to travel to some incredible places. I know we’re going to have a great Christmas, shared with family here at home.
And yet, I think it’d be great to be in Dallas tonight, staying nearby the OMNI and helping check-in and serve dinner for 500 VIPs.