Room to Rebuild

June 17, 2011 - Washington, D.C.

In honor of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride month, Choice PRIDE, an Employee Resource Group of Choice Hotels International, joined Rebuilding Together to assist one local LGBT charity in the Washington D.C. metro area.  ChoicePRIDE made an on-site visit on Friday, June 17th to the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL) in the Eastern Market Neighborhood.  Choice Hotels International associates volunteered their time to make facility repairs and improvements.

Over 20 volunteer associates, in collaboration with Rebuilding Together, spent the day repainting the interior of SMYAL’s facility.  Other volunteers helped to construct a wheelchair accessible entrance using concrete mixture and a little elbow grease.  Additionally, Choice volunteers renovated the outside fences and ramps.  The renovations made will give lasting improvements to the condition of SMYAL’s building.

“This was a major ChoicePRIDE activity and our first volunteer project in the DC area that benefited non-profit organization.  SMYAL provides protection for LGBT youth in the greater DC area, and we are delighted it went so well with over 20 volunteers representing the Silver Spring, Phoenix, Grand Junction campuses as well as the field team”, said Charlie Rouse, the project leader.

“We had a long list of tasks, and we proudly accomplished everything on the list.  The appreciation of the team at SMYAL was amazing and we really hope that the youth who visit their center enjoy the bright, fresh paint, and the spruced up patio”, said Christopher Yellen, Vice President of Associate Development and Quality Assurance.

Founded in 1984, the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League is a non-profit community outreach group dedicated to supporting LGBT youth in the Washington D.C. Metro area.  The organization seeks to improve the lives of LGBT youth in need.  So far, SMYAL has provided services to over 10,000 youth in the metro area.  SMYAL encompasses five components in their services: life skills & leadership development, counseling & support, health & wellness education, safe social activities, and community outreach and education.