Carlson Hotels Worldwide has partnered with the American Red Cross, Kids in Need, YMCA, La Escuelita and Big Brothers Big Sisters in an effort to help youth in need across the country.

In Texas, Carlson worked with the American Red Cross to distribute more than 4,300 activity bags in shelters to children displaced by Hurricane Ike in Houston and San Antonio. General Managers Charles Stallcup from the Radisson San Antonio Downtown Market Square and Steve Dennis from the Radisson Hill Country Resort & Spa helped distribute bags at a shelter in San Antonio. The tote bags contained a fun activity book, colored pencil, stickers, sunglasses or goggles.

"We wanted to provide a multi-purpose tote bag with some fun items that can help bring cheer to the kids who may be in temporary shelters and without some of their prized possessions," said Baron Carr, vice president of Brand Marketing for Carlson Hotels Worldwide, who donated the bags on behalf of their Radisson Hotels & Resorts and Country Inns & Suites By Carlson brands.

"The American Red Cross is where neighbors can help neighbors during their time of need," said Lauri Rhinehart, vice president of Development Operations for the American Red Cross. "We are thankful for the support of Carlson Hotels Worldwide. Their compassion and generosity helped put smiles on the faces of children and, in turn, their families."

More than 3,500 bags are being distributed to flood victims in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In Minneapolis and St. Paul, more than 10,500 bags are being given to inner city children involved in programs after school and through the YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities, La Escuelita and Latino youth.

James Walker, Behavior Intervention Specialist at Dayton's Bluff Elementary School in St. Paul, helped organize the donation at the after school program he manages. "The bag donation is a nice fit for our program which aims to keep kids active and focused on their school work," said Walker.

Minneapolis.-based Carlson Hotels Worldwide operates Regent Hotels & Resorts; Radisson Hotels & Resorts®; Park Plaza®Hotels & Resorts; Country Inns & Suites By Carlson? and Park Inn®. The company's overall donation effort throughout the end of the year totals more than $300,000.

For high-resolution images from the events, click here: