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Ramadan is the season of charity and many companies throughout Oman have been engaging with the theme, including the Radisson Blu and Park Inn Hotels, who recently introduced a new charity campaign called The Box Appeal.
At a launch event held at the Radisson Blu Muscat in Al Khuwayr, the managers of the two hotels addressed members of the media. Corporate sponsors of the campaign also attended, including DHL Express, Mazoon Printing, Publishing and Advertising, Merge 104.8, and non-governmental cha-rity organisation Dar al Atta’a.
“We’re very hopeful that this campaign will be very successful and the first of many Box Appeals to come,” said Michael Jacobi, general manager at the Radisson Blu Muscat. “We’ve had a great amount of support from various companies in Muscat, but we need everyone’s help.” The Box Appeal works by providing empty shoeboxes containing a list of 13 essential items that members of the public should fill the boxes with.
The shoebox list includes everyday toiletry items such as toothpaste, a toothbrush, shaving equipment, soap, a towel and a comb, all of which must be brand new. The boxes will later be distributed by DHL Express and in cooperation with Dar al Atta’a, to underprivileged people around Oman.
“At Dar al Atta’a we sponsor 82 families and the boxes will also go to young people - orphans, the handicapped and college students from underprivileged families. A lot will be aimed at young people, young men particularly,” said Shatha Abbas, board member of Dar al Atta’a. “We encourage people across Oman to come forward and collect, fill and return these boxes in the true spirit of giving. Most of us hardly give a thought to these everyday commodities but the boxes will make a difference to someone for whom even the basics count as luxuries,” said Rabih Zain, newly appointed general manager of Park Inn Muscat.
The initiative was first launched by the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City in 2007, who after receiving a good response were later joined by their counterparts in Abu Dhabi the following year. In the four years that the campaign has been running, more than 20,000 boxes have been donated, equating to a value of over RO200,000. This year a total of 13 hotels from around the Middle East are participating, including Bahrain, Cairo, Abu Dhabi, and for the first time Oman.
The campaign is part of a set of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes implemented by Rezidor Hotel Group, who manage the Radisson Blu and Park Inn hotels. “We have a history of doing charitable work since the 1990’s. Throughout the year we run CSR initiatives and deal with ethical issues in the local community and we’re active when it comes to responsible business,” said Michael.
“Mazoon got involved because it’s such a fantastic, well run appeal and we know it’s going to have a significant impact on the community,” said Graeme Selby, general manager of Mazoon Printing, Publishing and Advertising, who have provided the boxes. The special boxes showing the bright red campaign logo can be picked up from the Radisson Blu or Park Inn hotels or from the appeal’s partners, Muscat City Centre and Qurum City Centre. They can also be returned to the same spots up until the campaign’s conclusion on 15 September.
“Our target for this year is to receive 10,000 boxes throughout the region and 1,000 as a minimum in Oman. I wouldn’t be surprised if Oman becomes the number one country to exceed their target in the whole campaign,” said Michael.