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01/10/2012

Marriott International Launches New European Charitable Giving Initiative

Marriott’s “World of Opportunity” to Raise Funds to Help Tackle Youth Unemployment Across Europe.

London –10 January, 2012–Marriott International, Inc. announced today “World of Opportunity,” a new charitable giving programme for Europe, which aims to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds reach their full potential by providing life skills and vocational opportunities. 

Through “World of Opportunity,” Marriott International’s more than 280 hotels across Europe will fundraise, facilitate in-kind donations and volunteer with two charitable partners, SOS Children’s Villages in Continental Europe and The Prince’s Trust Fairbridge programme in the United Kingdom. 

“Considering the sharp increase in youth unemployment across Europe, we feel ‘World of Opportunity’ can help offer a real solution and be potentially life-changing for participants,” said Amy McPherson, president and managing director for Marriott International in Europe. McPherson added, “Marriott strongly believes that our business should be aligned with what is most important to the communities where we operate, and we hope that through this new initiative we will help make a positive impact in the lives of young people across Europe.”

To help launch the programme, throughout the month of February one British Pound or Euro (or equivalent) will be donated for every lunch and dinner served at participating Marriott-branded hotel restaurants in Europe.  Funds raised will help tackle youth unemployment by sponsoring The Prince’s Trust Fairbridge programme’s “Employ Me” course in the U.K., and by supporting SOS Children’s Villages Youth programme, focusing on education and employment, in Continental Europe.

Marriott's commitment to society blends corporate financial contributions with in-kind giving and the volunteer service of our associates around the world.  The company participates in efforts to provide shelter, food, and children's health, while creating career opportunities for associates in the workplace and supporting education in the hospitality industry.  In 2010, Marriott’s worldwide charitable contributions totaled $34.6 million from donations of cash, in-kind and volunteer time.  For more information about our corporate social responsibility efforts visit www.marriott.com/socialresponsibility
Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.  

About The Prince’s Trust
Youth charity The Prince's Trust helps change young lives. It gives practical and financial support, developing key workplace skills such as confidence and motivation. It works with 13-to-30-year-olds who have struggled at school, have been in care, are long-term unemployed or have been in trouble with the law. The Prince of Wales’s charity has helped more than 650,000 young people since 1976 and supports 100 more each day. Last year, more than three in four young people supported by The Trust moved into work, education or training.  In April 2011, Fairbridge became part of The Prince’s Trust. The new united organisation will help 50,000 young people this year

About SOS Children's Villages
SOS Children's Villages is an international, non-governmental social development organisation that provides services in the areas of care, education and health for children who have already lost or who are at risk of losing parental care. The organisation was founded in Austria in 1949 and today runs more than 2,100 programmes for some 2.2 million children and adults in 133 countries and territories. Its work is guided by the spirit of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
SOS Children's Villages adheres to the principle that every child grows best in a family environment, with caring parents or caregivers, living together with their siblings, in a place they can call home. SOS Children's Villages works with communities, local partners and authorities to support disadvantaged families across the world, thus preventing family breakdown.

When necessary and when it is deemed to be in the child's best interests, there is the option for children to grow up in foster families or in an SOS Children's Villages family, where children are supported, protected and cared for until they reach adulthood.

SOS Children's Villages also aims at sensitising decision-makers to the concerns that children face and influencing them to make changes in policies and practices that undermine the well-being of children, especially of those without parental care. For more information on SOS Children’s Villages please visit www.sos-childrensvillages.org.

Connect with elizabeth.caminiti@marriott.com