TOKYO – October 29, 2014 – Blackstone and Hilton Worldwide in Japan have partnered with Playground of Hope, a Japan-based charity, to build play facilities and renovate the outdoor play area at the Kodomo-no-ie orphanage in Kiyose, Tokyo.
On October 24, volunteers from the two companies joined forces with Playground of Hope staff to build a large outdoor play set, set up benches, a picnic table and a barbecue pit, and beautify the orphanage’s expansive green space. The renovation gave the children new facilities to play and exercise, and created an environment for increased social interaction within the orphanage and local community.
Timothy Soper, vice president, operations, Japan, Korea and Micronesia, Hilton Worldwide, said, “We are honored to have been involved with this initiative at Kodomo-no-ie orphanage, which will help bring play and fun to these children. Serving the communities around our hotels and throughout Japan is embedded in our culture and reflects the year-round commitment and passion of our Team Members.”
The playground renovation was just one of many community projects undertaken by Hilton Worldwide across Japan during the company’s third annual Global Week of Service, a celebration of the company’s commitment to serving and enriching local communities around the world. . Beyond Global Week of Service, Team Members also lead numerous community involvement projects throughout the year. These include rebuilding efforts in the Tohoku region by Hilton Tokyo, a rice growing project to help revitalize a local town by Hilton Nagoya, and a partnership between Save the Children Japan and Hilton Tokyo Bay to buy furniture for a children’s center in Ishinomaki, a city hit hard by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
Amy Stursberg, Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, said, “In many ways, our efforts to support local communities through Blackstone Connects define our character and culture. We are proud that our employees in Japan are taking part in initiatives such as these, joining colleagues around the world to work alongside non-profit organizations during our Global Volunteer Month and address pressing local needs. Though we are always glad to partner with Hilton Worldwide in any endeavor, it is especially rewarding to work together to support Playground of Hope in bringing an environment for play and learning to the Kodomo no-ie-orphanage.”
Michael Anop, founder of Playground of Hope, said, “This is all about building community through play. Children suffer from a lack of play all over the world, and things are made even worse for Japanese orphans who simply do not have adequate access to outdoor play spaces. Kids simply need to be able to play freely and to have better access to facilities that let them do so.”
Playground of Hope began operations in the aftermath of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Operating under the umbrella of Japanese non-profit organization Side by Side International, Playground of Hope aims to enhance quality of life in disaster-affected and economically challenged communities by providing cost effective play equipment and pairing donors with local volunteers to build play spaces for children.
During Global Week of Service 2014, Hilton Worldwide properties from Hokkaido to Okinawa have engaged in wide-ranging initiatives expressing the company’s commitment to youth opportunity and sustainability, including organizing fun days with disadvantaged children to cleaning and refurbishing local schools to mentoring young people on career opportunities. Globally, Hilton Worldwide aims to complete more than 3,000 service projects totaling over 100,000 volunteer hours.
Blackstone participated in the Kodomo-no-ie renovation as part of the third annual Blackstone Connects Global Volunteer Month, an initiative launched in 2011 to which Blackstone employees globally have so far contributed over 17,000 volunteer hours.
During the 2013 Blackstone Connects Global Volunteer Month, more than 250 Blackstone employees in New York, London, Boston, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Singapore, and Tokyo collectively volunteered 950 hours in partnership with organizations including New York Cares, HandsOn Hong Kong, Centrepoint UK, and the Smile Foundation. In Japan, Blackstone has since 2011 partnered with HandsOn Tokyo, a bilingual volunteer platform to connect individuals and groups to meaningful volunteer service opportunities in Tokyo and the Tohoku region. The HandsOn Tokyo platform has also enabled Blackstone employees in Japan to volunteer with the Airinkai Social Welfare Support Corporation and the Konishiki Kids Foundation.
Further information on Hilton Worldwide and Blackstone’s service projects around the world is available at http://hiltonworldwide.com/serve and http://blackstone.com/foundation. Follow this link to watch a short video on Hilton World’s Global Week of Service: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dshpd1qDNSY. A short video from Blackstone’s 2013 Global Volunteer Month is available here: http://youtu.be/pc2spTK-iwY.
About Playground of Hope
The Playground of Hope aims to restore the “social fabric” of disaster-affected and or economically challenged communities through the power of play. We accomplish this by providing cost effective play equipment and pairing donors with local volunteers to build play spaces that restore community pride and help make communities “livable” again for children, their parents and grandparents. Like a school, hospital or retirement home, parks are an important part of the social fabric of any healthy community. The Playground of Hope is where children go to exercise and learn important social skills, where parents and elderly go to hone their social skills and where all residents can visit to find hope for the future success of their community.
Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our asset management businesses, with almost $300 billion in assets under management, include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Blackstone also provides various financial advisory services, including financial and strategic advisory, restructuring and reorganization advisory and fund placement services. Further information is available at china.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.
About The Blackstone Charitable Foundation
The Blackstone Charitable Foundation was founded at the time of Blackstone’s IPO in 2007 with substantial commitments from the Firm’s employees. Influenced by the enterprising heritage of the firm and its founders, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation is directing its resources and applying the intellectual capital of the firm to foster entrepreneurship nationwide and globally. Through its investment expertise across several asset classes and geographies, Blackstone has a unique perspective on the global economy and a heightened understanding of how entrepreneurial activity is often the crucial catalyst in the growth of successful businesses, industries and communities. Launched in 2011, Blackstone Connects is the Foundation’s unique community service program that provides Blackstone employees with opportunities to engage in service and volunteer projects in communities. For more information, see http://china.blackstone.com/foundation.
About Hilton Worldwide
Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxury and full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and focused-service hotels. For 95 years, Hilton Worldwide has been dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences. The company's portfolio of twelve world-class global brands is comprised of more than 4,200 managed, franchised, owned and leased hotels and timeshare properties, with more than 690,000 rooms in 93 countries and territories, including Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Curio - A Collection by Hilton, Canopy by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton HHonors®. Visit news.hiltonworldwide.com for more information and connect with Hilton Worldwide at www.facebook.com/hiltonworldwide, www.twitter.com/HiltonHotels, www.youtube.com/hiltonworldwide, www.flickr.com/hiltonworldwide and www.linkedin.com/company/hilton.
About Travel with Purpose®
Travel with Purpose® is Hilton Worldwide’s corporate responsibility commitment to providing shared value to its business and communities in four areas—creating opportunities for individuals to reach their full potential; strengthening communities where Hilton Worldwide operates; celebrating cultures and the power of travel; and living sustainably through the measurement, analysis and improvement of the company’s use of natural resources. Visit cr.hiltonworldwide.com to learn more.
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