The largest free hotel room program is the partnership between the hotel chain Extended Stay America and the American Cancer Society.
Since the Keys of Hope program launched in 2013, the hotel chain has donated more than 120,000 hotel stays in locations throughout the US, and helped more than 15,000 patients and their families overcome the financial stress of travelling for cancer treatment.
Extended Stay America is the largest company-owned and operated hotel chain in the U.S., and the American Cancer Society is the largest voluntary health organization in the U.S.
The partnership provides patients an affordable, comfortable place to stay so they can focus on getting well, in accommodations equipped with kitchens for patients and caregivers to store and cook the foods they enjoy, and pet-friendly accommodations allow beloved pets to provide healing comfort, making for a more normal home-like stay.
One of the most important keys to surviving cancer is access to treatment. For many patients, the best hope for a cure means traveling an average of 140 miles to a treatment facility in another city, sometimes for weeks or months.
Through its Hope Lodge program, the American Cancer Society offers free, temporary lodging to patients and their caregivers, offsetting costs associated with living away from home during treatment.
In 2012, Hope Lodge provided more than 260,000 nights of free lodging to cancer patients, saving them an estimated $26 million in hotel costs.
Extended Stay America extends-a-hand by providing overnight stays at more than 600 locations throughout the U.S., alleviating demand on the 31 American Cancer Society Hope Lodge facilities, which often run at capacity.
The Extended Stay America Keys for Hope program launched in Atlanta, Boston and Houston beginning Nov. 1, 2013, and expanded nationwide a few months later.
To request an Extended Stay America room, cancer patients or their caregivers should contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.
Additional Resources for Free and Discounted Accommodations
The Healthcare Hospitality Network provides a list of hotels, B&Bs and private homes that offer free and discounted accommodations for cancer patients.
Cancer Horizons provides additional free lodging resources
Click here for a list of programs, including free lodging, offered by Ronald McDonald House Charities.
How to Help Support More Cancer Patients
When you stay at Extended Stay America, be sure to drop your key in the donation box.
For every key dropped in the box, we will donate $1 of hotel room value, up to $1 million dollars for the Hotel Keys of Hope program so that even more cancer patients can benefit.
To join Extended Stay America and the American Cancer Society in the fight against cancer, visit ExtendedStayAmerica.com or call 800-804-3724.
For information about American Cancer Society programs and services, including the Hope Lodge program, please visit cancer.org or call 1-800-227-2345.
This article was posted originally in 2013, when the Extended Stay America/American Cancer Society program first launched, and is updated and republished periodically.
Copyright (C) Evelyn Kanter
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a journalist with 20+ years of experience as a newspaper and magazine writer, radio & TV news producer & reporter, and guidebook and smartphone app author – all focusing on travel, automotive, the environment and your rights as a consumer.
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