Retailers Give Back
One group of individuals from across the retail technology industry is embodying the spirit of these lessons and has rallied around a singular cause: that of providing resources for the 143 million vulnerable and orphaned children across the world. Their cause is the Retail Orphan Initiative (Retail ROI, www.retailroi.org). Its members range from the CIO of Sears Holdings to the research vice president of Gartner, Inc., as well as executives from IHL Consulting Group, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, 1-800-Flowers, and many others.
The group has three overriding goals: to raise awareness about orphans worldwide; to work with retailers, hospitality operators and others to create internal programs for orphan/foster care; and to become a fund-raising arm for community-based charities that provide resources directly to orphaned children.
Retail ROI has already provided funding for several localized charities in the U.S. and Africa, and is eager to engage the hospitality community in its efforts. Hotels and restaurants have had a long-established commitment to humanitarian causes the world-over, and undoubtedly will be inspired by their peers in the retail industry. If nothing else, their efforts serve as a great example of the words of Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing