With the message that we must continue to support Haiti well after the emergency relief program is over by planning now to rebuild the country’s water and sanitation infrastructure, international water-aid charity, Just a Drop, launched its JUST HELP HAITI appeal with its initial focus firmly placed on the travel and tourism industry.
With Just a Drop being one of Reed Exhibitions’ chosen charities; World Travel Market, one of its flagship events, immediately stepped up to the plate. Simon Press, WTM’s exhibition director said: “The devastation in Haiti and its people’s despair is a global issue. Using all our travel industry media channels, including a massive HTML e-broadcast, we called out to the international travel and tourism industry to JUST HELP HAITI. We are also urging our exhibitors and visitors to get fully behind the appeal.”
Support offered by UK tour operators also ensures the JUST HELP HAITI message is getting through to the British holidaying public. A spectacular 5-star, all-inclusive holiday donated by The Cooperative Travel is being used in a prize draw and many more similar “holiday gifts in kind” will form part of Just a Drop’s ongoing fundraising strategy coordinated by EKO Marketing. Meanwhile, Hayes & Jarvis, already a long-standing supporter of Just a Drop is rallying together their staff.
“To support the continued aid effort in Haiti, Hayes & Jarvis will be running an event in March for the JUST HELP HAITI appeal. Our offices in Gatwick will be holding a dress down “Go Blue!” day where various activities will be taking place to encourage staff to donate to this extremely deserving cause, as well as incorporating a donation button on the Hayes & Jarvis home page to encourage support from our customers, too,” said Suzanne Owen, brand marketing manager at Hayes & Jarvis.
Meeting the industry face-to-face and up front and personal is also crucial to JUST HELP HAITI’s fundraising efforts and Just a Drop was immediately able to call upon the support of ETOA and The Travel Club to pursue its short- and long-term objectives.
“ETOA is proud to lend its immediate support to Just a Drop’s Haiti initiative. As a charity they proved their worth by going in after the Tsunami’s emergency relief effort was over to start rebuilding a vital water infrastructure for communities,” said Tom Jenkins, ETOA’s chief executive. “Our industry is unique in that it thrives from face-to-face contact and networking, so we are delighted to offer the charity a valuable platform to convey the Just Help Haiti message at HEM2010, our Hoteliers European Marketplace in February. With over 120 hotel contractors and more than 160 leading European hoteliers and city tourist board delegates, I am sure that we can turn corporate talk into corporate action.”
Tom Nutley, director of The Travel Club and also a trustee of Just a Drop is making available the club’s facilities and said: “Just a Drop’s coordination of fundraising and logistical activities will be crucial in the coming months, so we have offered the team a venue where they can hold meetings in Central London. Furthermore, we will be hosting a “Thank You” reception in the future for some of the appeal’s many supporters.”
The charity is also well aware that coverage on Haiti will reduce as the weeks pass by and that it is imperative that the travel media recognizes the importance that the JUST HELP HAITI Appeal is kept alive in the months ahead so that fundraising is ongoing and vital rebuilding projects can be undertaken well into the future. Through the support being given by Brighter PR, this vital message is already being relayed on.
“As a travel and tourism PR specialist, I have a long-standing relationship with Just a Drop and am only too happy to support them in all of their campaigns and fundraising initiatives,” said Debbie Flynn, CEO, Brighter Group. “We are lending our services to Just a Drop to help them communicate the great work that they do and help them to raise money for the valuable projects that they carry out. We are thrilled to be a part of their mission!”