by Victor Lopez
MIDLAND--One of the most important parts of the holidays is spending time with family. That's hard to do with a loved one in a hospital or nursing home.
Tharaldson Lodging Company owns Fairfield Inn and Suites. They say they're proud to be offering the Room at the Inn program. It gives people one less thing to worry about when someone they love is sick.
"They're assured a place to spend the night and it doesn't cost them," Midland Fairfield Suites Maintenance Supervisor, Merri Jo Leonard, said.
The program started as a way for the property owners to pay it forward. Someone, somewhere paid their hotel stay when they had a loved one in the hospital during Christmas.
According to Leonard, "They thought that it was such a blessing to them that when they got started in the hotel business. Since 1988, they've been giving a room to anyone that has a loved one, not only in the hospital, but also a nursing home or treatment center. They will give them a room at any of our hotels."
You might think it's a coincidence that the name of the program sounds a lot like another well known Christmas story.
"When I heard about it, that was the very first thing I thought of. There is a song about "Room at the Inn," and it's from the Bible. I thought, wow, I bet that's where they got that from. I'm sure it is," Leonard added.
Leonard says, this is the company's way to be a part of and serve the community, no questions asked, "If they have that kind of heart and you come in and say that you've traveled to see a loved one, we're going to believe you. I really feel that people are good enough to do what's right"