New York, NY – In late January, 2010, Joseph Macchiarulo, of Portland, Maine received an email in his in-box from the Hilton Hotel Corporation asking if he would like to convert some of his Hilton Honors points into a cash contribution for the Haiti Relief Fund. Joseph Macchiarulo was pleasantly surprised to see that a major U.S. corporation was taking the time, effort, resources, and creative energy to develop and implement a program to help others (in fact, people in a different part of the world) in need of support. Joseph Macchiarulo was also impressed to see that the Hilton Corporation had given birth to such a creative alternative to traditional charitable contribution methods.
After receiving this email, Joseph Macchiarulo immediately contacted the Hilton Honors program by phone to intiate a transaction that provided a sizable contribution to the people of Haiti who were impacted by the severe earthquake on January 12, 2010. While talking with the Hilton Honors representative, Joseph Macchiarulo expressed his gratitude and appreciation for this creative act of benevolence on the part of the Hilton Corporation. The Hilton Honors representative went out of her way to thank Joseph Macchiarulo for his contribution. (Joseph Macchiarulo travels extensively in his work as an organizational change management consultant; so he had a very large Hilton Honors point balance.) A considerable portion of Mr. Macchiarulo’s point balance was quickly converted to cash and submitted to the Hait Relief Fund. Mr. Macchiarulo was also impressed at the convenience and efficiency of this approach.
Around that same time in Januray, 2010, Joseph Macchiarulo was grocery shopping at the Whole Foods market in Portland, Maine. As Mr. Macchiarulo was waiting in line to pay for his groceries he noticed $2 and $5 coupons by the register for the Haiti Relief fund. On closer examination, Joseph Macchiarulo noticed that the coupons had a bar code allowing the cashier to simply scan a coupon and add the allotted amount to someone’s store purchase. Mr. Macchiarulo immediately grabbed a $5 coupon and handed it to the cashier who expressed her appreciation for his contribution.
Again, Joseph Macchiarulo was delighted to see that another major U.S. corporation was taking the time, energy, and resources to provide help for others in need; and again he was impressed at the level of innovation, creativity, convenience, and efficiency that was evident in their approach. Mr. Macchiarulo’s only disappointment was when he asked the cashier how many people were making contributions and she replied with, “Oh, about five per cent”. Knowing that the customers of Whole Foods tend to be financially well off, Mr. Macchiarulo was surprised that the number wasn’t higher. Joseph Macchiarulo is someone who enjoys helping others. It’s a good thing.