On November 11, after braving an early snow fall, members of the Radisson Hotels executive team joined children at SOS Children’s Villages Illinois for an exploration of art with “heartwork”. Children were asked what a grateful heart looks like, and then were given the chance to express it through the medium of paint on canvas.
The Radisson team arrived at the Chicago Village donned in grey t-shirts that read “I Am, a Volunteer and Hotelier.” They began setting up the room just as they envisioned, creating at each table an individual art studio. Tables had canvases, paint brushes, palettes with an assortment of paint colors, and a team member or two stationed at each table to assist our young artists.
Prior to children arriving, SOS Illinois CEO, Tim McCormick, thanked the Radisson team for being at the Village and creating such a wonderful opportunity for our children. He also shared the commonalities between hotels and Villages: they both are similar in that they take in a stranger and provide shelter, food, and care; they also make the individual feel welcomed, at home, and part of a larger community. Then, when the time comes, we each then send the individual on his or her way again, so that person can continue in his/her personal journey. Tim also shared a fun fact about similarities between Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel and the Chicago Village’s Tina Lavezzorio Community Center: Jeanne Gang was the architect for both.
As children walked into the room, smiles appeared. They were delighted at the opportunity to choose their own space, where they could put paintbrush to canvas and work alongside Radisson team members. Some children chose glitter, some used paint colors swirled together, and some wrote words across the canvas to express their appreciation. With many smiles and lots of laughter, it was unmistakable the gratitude each child had for the opportunity to paint, talk with Radisson team members, and most of all share their hearts.
At the end, Radisson asked the children to stand and as they did the Radisson team members applauded the children for their incredible job painting. Then, the team members continued telling the children they were going to share the artwork with other Radisson staff members, who couldn’t be at the event today, at the Radisson Annual Meeting in February.
Executives Visit Homes at the Roosevelt Square Village
Following the heartwarming event where children poured their hearts into their canvases, several members of the Radisson executive team made a special visit to our homes at the Roosevelt Square Village. There, they had the opportunity to tour the homes and visit with our Foster Parents to become better acquainted with the day-to-day schedules of our parents and all the amazing efforts that go into the love and support of the children in our care.
The Radisson Supports Children in Foster Care around the World
SOS Children’s Villages is an official charity partner of the Radisson Hotels Group internationally. Hotels around the world are sponsoring children in SOS Children’s Villages in many parts of the world. Locally, Radisson is partnering with SOS Illinois to support fundraising efforts, create programs for the children and families at SOS Illinois, and will further support with the Roosevelt Square Community Center culinary kitchen, which will include courses in hospitality training.
SOS Illinois would like to share a special thanks to our amazing friends at Radisson Hotel Group for a wonderful day of heartwork.