Cajun Navy arrives in SC ahead of Florence
Tom Bever knew he’d never be able to use all of his hotel reward points.
The New Hampshire man travels 200 to 300 days a year for his marketing job to festivals, expos and trade shows and had racked up more than 1.5 million Hilton Honors points.
He’d heard the Cajun Navy — volunteers who travel to rescue people after hurricanes and storms, often with their signature flat-bottom boats — had arrived on the East Coast to help during Hurricane Florence.
He wanted to help them bear some of their costs.
“I was able to use 980,000 Hilton Hotel Points (so far) to get 36 of the [Louisiana] Cajun Navy rooms” in a Hilton hotel in Columbia, South Carolina, Bever wrote on a Facebook post .
Hoping to inspire others to donate their points to volunteers, he posted the idea in several Facebook groups, including in Raleigh.
“The vast majority of the Cajun Navy bore their own expenses,” he wrote. “Many use their vacation/comp/sick time to help the rescue efforts [and are] donating boats as well. It’s important we take care of the people helping others.”
Lauren Debettencourt, senior manager of loyalty communications for Hilton, said the company was moved by Bever’s donation and has matched his point contributions to a charity of his choice. People are able to donate their hotel points to various charities including the American Red Cross’ hurricane efforts at www.pointworthy.com/partners/hilton/.
The hotel chain also has a fund dedicated to help employees and their families affected by the storm, and donations can be made at https://hiltonresponds.charity.org/campaigns/212