Already in its fourth year, “The Box Appeal” is a charitable campaign designed to help over 10,000 impoverished individuals across the Middle East to acquire basic supplies at no cost.
First begun in 2007 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Dubai Media City, its operation soon expanded until over 20,000 boxes were distributed across the region over the past four years. The original intention of what was first dubbed the “Shoebox Appeal” was to supply laborers throughout the UAE with everyday necessities whose purchase would have taxed their limited resources. The success of this first effort caught the attention of the Rezidor Hotel Group which decided to bring the charity push to the entire region.
Box Appeal’s First Year in Oman
This year, from August 15 to September 15 the Radisson Blu and Park Inn Hotels in Muscat held the “Box Appeal” in Oman for the first time. The campaign has taken on a broader perspective, aiming to help all those in society who have less. These same hotels in locations in the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain as well as Oman participated, helping to collect about 10,000 boxes of basic supplies to distribute to underprivileged people throughout MENA.
“As many as 13 hotels from across the MENA region are expected to take part,” says Michael Jacobi, general manager, Radisson Blu, Muscat. “The two hotels in Muscat are aiming to fill 1,000 boxes collectively, helping to ensure this is the most successful edition of the appeal to date.”
The campaign works simply. Someone who wishes to take part is encouraged to get a small box from either the Radisson Blu or the Park Inn Hotels. They can also acquire a box from City Centre Muscat or Qurum City Centre, the Box Appeal partners. Once they have a box the volunteer then fills it with small, but essential everyday supplies, such as toothpaste, a toothbrush, comb, brush, towel, soap and anything else they feel is useful and appropriate.
Great Community Spirit
A local charity, Dar Al Atta’a will then distribute the boxes to families and individuals most in need. Jacobi added that many additional local companies have promised to lend a hand to the campaign in what Jacobi called an “astonishing show of community spirit.”
Responsible Business Practice
The general manager of the Park Inn Muscat, Rabih Zein, added that,
“The campaign reflects the Park Inn philosophy of responsible business. We have been actively involved in a plethora of charity activities and social service programs such as blood donation and marathon collection. We encourage people across Oman to come forward and collect, fill and return the 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 who even the basics count as luxuries.”
Michael Jacobi concurred:
“We hope the simplicity of The Box Appeal campaign will draw the attention of the public. Anyone can do this – it is so easy to get involved and contribute,” stated Jacobi.