Philanthropist starts fundraiser to buy hotel rooms for Minnesota health care workers

An online fundraiser is collecting donations to buy hotel rooms for Minnesota health care workers.

An active philanthropist in the Twin Cities, John Maring, is behind a new fundraising effort aimed at helping ease the stress and anxiety of health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Was thinking about how there’s so many vacant hotel rooms out there right now and how many nurses and front line professionals must be nervous to go home if they have family with underlying health conditions,” said Maring.

Last week, he launched a GoFundMe page and reached out to several hotels that agreed to offer rooms at a reduced rate. The rooms are all paid for through donations. So far, the page has generated nearly $20,000 in donations.

“It’s not so much for me a personal connection of knowing someone,” said Maring. “It’s just, you see those stories out there and you know that a lot of the nurses and health care professionals, they are worried.”

“We have such a high level of anxiety in our lives right now,” said Mary Turner, the president of the Minnesota Nurses Association. “And this worrying about going home to their kids and going home to their elderly parents and things like that have really weighed heavily on our minds, especially when we feel like we’re not getting the PPE that we feel we need to stay safe.”

Turner says she is grateful for the generosity.
“We appreciate it so much because I work on a COVID-19 floor and we can feel very isolated and alone and just knowing that other people care for us this way is huge - it’s huge,” said Turner.

“My message would be thank you and thank you to the folks who are stepping in and donating for this,” said Maring. “I hope that we can raise a ton of room nights and really give some peace and comfort to those folks.”

TPI Hospitality, Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures and Hawkeye Hotels are the three hotel groups participating in the effort. Combined they have more than two dozen hotel locations in the Twin Cities and Rochester. The following is a list of the participating hotels:

TPI Hospitality
     -  Staybridge Suites – Bloomington  
     -  Hampton Inn – Bloomington   
     -  Hilton Garden Inn – Bloomington 
     -  Staybridge Suites – Eagan   
     -  Holiday Inn Express – Golden Valley 
     -  Staybridge Suites – Maple Grove
     -  Residence Inn – Maple Grove
     -  Courtyard Marriott – Maple Grove
     -  Holiday Inn Suites – Maple Grove
     -  Hampton Inn – Maple Grove
     -  Hampton Inn – Minnetonka
     -  Homewood Suites – New Brighton
     -  Homewood Suites – Rochester
     -  Courtyard by Marriot – Rochester
     -  SpringHill Suites – Rochester
     -  Home2 Suites – Roseville
     -  Residence Inn – Roseville
     -  Hilton Garden Inn – Shoreview
     -  Homewood Suites – St. Louis Park
Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures
     -  InterContinental  Riverfront – St. Paul
     -  Doubletree Minneapolis Park Place – St Louis Park
     -  Doubletree St. Paul 
Hawkeye Hotels
     -  Courtyard By Marriott – Edina / Bloomington
     -  Holiday Inn Express & Suites Mall of America – MSP Airport
     -  Fairfield Inn and Suites – Shakopee
     -  Home2 by Hilton – Eagan
     -  Hampton Inn by Hilton – Lakeville