Accent Inns employees from across B.C. spent Wednesday giving out thank you cards and gift cards to BC Transit employees, as a way to acknowledge them for their non-stop work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Accent Inns is a B.C.-based hotel chain with properties in Kelowna, Kamloops, Burnaby, Richmond and Victoria and 500 of their employees spent the day thanking the essential drivers.
“Throughout the pandemic as a company, we’ve really looked for ways that we can reach out and support our local community,” says director of continuous improvement at Accent Inns Kelowna Natalie Corbett.
“That started last spring with our hotels for frontline workers program, where we were offering complimentary stays to frontline workers that needed to self-isolate.”
Looking for a different way to give back, an employee suggested they should recognize transit drivers because they relied on transit themselves and appreciated no matter what COVID-19 restrictions were in place, the bus drivers provided them with a reliable ride to work every day.
Corbett says the bus drivers reactions to the acts of kindness have been extremely positive and rewarding.
“A lot of surprise, a lot of thank-yous, a lot of acknowledgment that it’s been a really tough year for them and that it’s nice to have a smiling face under a mask,” she laughs.
The hotel chain purchased thousands of dollars in $25 gift cards along with hand-written cards.
“Thank you to Accent Inns for taking the initiative to acknowledge our transit operators in Victoria, Kelowna and Kamloops with this meaningful gesture,” says BC Transit president Erinn Pinkerton.
“Our transit operators and frontline staff have been delivering transit services our customers can rely on throughout the pandemic response. Recognition from organizations and customers helps reaffirm their importance to the communities they serve.”
Transit Driver Appreciation Day is March 18 and Accent Inns hopes this will inspire others to acknowledge and thank essential workers in their community.