By on 19 December 2023

December Community Giving with the Palm Hospitality Group Foundation

Spreading Comfort with Re-Loved Linens

As the year draws to a close, many of us take stock of what we have and look for opportunities to give back. At our hotels, we follow a bi-annual ritual of refreshing the linens to keep things crisp and clean for our guests. But rather than discarding slightly worn sheets, towels, and pillows, we saw a chance to spread comfort in our community.

This season, we gathered up over 150 gently used linens and delivered them to an organization in need – the Deborah Widows Trust. The members, many of them elderly or vulnerable, were thrilled to welcome these donations.

The Deborah Widows Trust supports women coping with the loss of their partners, helping provide education and opportunity for them and their children. Founded by Gladys Malandela, who lost her husband who worked in the tourism industry a few years ago, the group has been a lifeline for its 15 members. But they give back too – gathering routinely to clean up Victoria Falls Hospital and care for public spaces. Our simple act of repurposing extra linens gave us a chance to honour these women’s resilience while making winter nights a bit warmer.

We donated 15 sheets, 15 bath towels, 15 hand towels, 6 pillows and 10 pillowcases to the Deborah Widows Trust and then 10 sheets, 10 hand towels, 10 pillowcases and 6 pillows to the Chinotimba Old Peoples Home.

Earlier in the year we donated linen from Ilala Lodge Hotel and Palm River Hotel to the Chinotimba Home who were equally grateful for items making their rest more comfortable.

The holidays offer many chances for giving, gifts don’t have to be expensive to change lives. A humble linen donation brought joy and comfort worth far more than the cost of those sheets and towels. In this season of sharing, we encourage you to look around – you may find small comforts to share and spread cheer in surprising places!

Planting Seeds of Abundance in Jembwe

While tourists flock to the Falls this holiday season, the Palm Hospitality Group embraced the spirit of giving back by heading into the adjacent villages. We joined team members of Greenline Africa, other stakeholders and families from the rural Jembwe Community. Our mission? To cultivate trees and nourishment for homesteads off the beaten path.

We gathered smiling, shovel-wielding crowds at a plot past Chisuma on the winding Gorges Road just outside of Victoria Falls town. The setting teemed with the major players dedicated to uplifting Zimbabwe’s rural farmers. The Forestry Commission donated over 20 seedlings of superfood moringa plus guava, mango and lemon saplings. We added these to the Jembwe Community Nursery stocks to be rehomed with local families.

Each corporate sponsor then planted five moringa trees to symbolize the initiative’s goal of spreading health and abundance. As we dug into the red-rich soil, you could feel bonds strengthening between tourism partners, NGOs and homesteaders.

Beyond planting, every attendee also placed moringa seeds into nursery bags – cultivating entrepreneurship plus environmentalism. The nursery offers a supplemental income for a region with limited livelihood options outside safari tourism.

The PHG Foundation

Formed in 2022, the PHG Foundation combines Palm River Hotel community projects with the passionate efforts of Ilala Lodge Hotel.

Other PHG Foundation initiatives include monthly litter clean-ups throughout designated sections of the town centre, recycling programmes, wildlife protection, cultural heritage preservation, and local fundraisers. Read more here. The group is dedicated to sustainable tourism and minimising environmental impact. Their efforts endeavour to make Victoria Falls a better place to live and visit for all.

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