Brand USA’s Tara Gabaldon, Justin Pile, and Laura Berardi led Brand USA in the support of recent efforts by Tourism Cares at IPW to counter the issues of food security and homelessness in Orange County, Calif.
Tourism Cares is a U.S.-based nonprofit that unites the travel and tourism industry in order to advance the industry’s positive social and environmental impact on the places and communities where travelers go.
IPW, the U.S. travel industry’s leading exposition for booking international travel to the United States, was held June 1-6 in Anaheim, California, which is in Orange County.
Extreme environmental conditions in California – including extended periods of drought and the increasing frequency of forest fires – have had a negative effect on people’s livelihoods and travelers’ perceptions of destinations around the state, said Greg Takehara, the CEO of Tourism Cares.
“The organizations we are working with in Southern California are creating solutions to bring normalcy, basic needs, and security back to the region –from combating food waste, to providing meals and job training for those most vulnerable,” Takehara said. “We are using business to drive the work of ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ to reduce poverty and hunger in Anaheim.”
Volunteers at IPW worked with several local partners of Tourism Cares in Orange County to address these issues.
Partners included: The Giving Farm, a collaborative community program dedicated to feeding Orange County; Bracken’s Kitchen, which helped to reduce food waste at IPW by delivering leftovers to locals in need; and Love Anaheim, which assists the nearly 7,000 homeless people who are in Orange County.
Brand USA was one of the sponsoring organizations of this Tourism Cares program. Other sponsors included the U.S. Travel Association, IPW Anaheim, Visit Anaheim, Visit California, Onward, and Rovia.
To view images from the day of volunteering, click here.