THE COOKIE GUY CAN…
“Cause he mixes it with LOVE and makes the WORLD taste good.”
Look 👀 who the the “Cookie Guy” got to bless yesterday! Thank you Mike Cook for coming by to discuss “Business On A Mission”. Glad your son LOVED our Fresh Baked Cookies too!
Who will I get to bless TODAY?
They say, “rainy days and Mondays always get you down,” and that’s the way things were shaping up for Vietnam Veteran Leland Jones
Leland had spent most of the day at the Veterans Administration Clinic in Lynchburg and was told they would arrange for overnight accommodations for him at a local hotel so he could return the next day to continue his treatments. That evening, the bus dropped him off on Wards Rd., but he didn’t know which hotel he was supposed to go to, so he started walking.
He was hoping to find a home for the night at the local Comfort Inn & Suites after walking a mile or more in the rain. It was cold, dark and Leland’s physical resources were waning. He dragged his broken, wheeled suitcase behind him into the lobby and asked if there was a room for him.
His name was not in the computer, nor was there a reservation by the VA clinic. Leland didn’t have a credit card or any cash on him to be able to afford a room that night, either. His blood sugar was low, and he was cold and wet and a bit desperate.
During that time, the General Manager – a member of his local Gideon camp – was on the property because the phone system had gone down, and when Leland walked in, he was on hold with the local provider. Listening to Leland’s story, the GM told the front desk clerks to set him up for the night and handed over his own credit card to pay for the room. The staff at the Comfort Inn has a soft spot for our nation’s veterans.
After Leland was shown to his room, it was discovered that one of the front desk clerks, a 22 y/o college student, had used his own credit card to pay for the room, and not the General Manager’s. Inspired by the regular kindness and selflessness of the GM, this young man had taken the initiative saying, “Our GM does so much for us and other people, it was the least I could do.”
The next morning, the GM arrived at work before sunrise and wondered why his night auditor was wandering around the parking lot in the rain. The night auditor said, “I can’t find Leland.” He’d seen him walk out, but not walk back in. The hotel sits between a busy highway and a busy rail line, so the GM was quite concerned.
The GM went up to Leland’s room and knocked on the door and was very pleased to find Leland in his room. It was only 6:30 am, but Leland invited him in. He sat quietly on the chair which was just opposite Leland who was sitting on the bed. There was only the nightstand between them.
The GM shared how Jesus is the “Great Comforter”, and even though there was “no room at the inn” for Jesus when he was born, there had been room for Leland when he arrived at the Comfort Inn. He and his staff were happy to provide a comforting room in a time of need as well as supporting one who had served our country.
The manager pointed to the dresser and said, “Five years ago, someone left a gift for you here at the hotel. It’s in that drawer, and all you have to do is open the drawer.” Leland opened the drawer, and the light on the nightstand shone down on the gold-stamped cover of the Gideon Bible, causing it to glow.
The GM opened the front cover of the Bible and read the words printed in every Gideon copy: “Are you Alone, Depressed, Addicted, Stressed…? Do you need Hope, Peace, Joy…?
“That’s what I need – JOY!” Leland exclaimed as the Manager read the words. “Someone’s stolen all of my joy!” Leland shared how people had taken advantage of him, how the V.A. had been giving him the run-around, and he was not getting the help he needed. This had stolen the Joy from his life. The Manager told him he was convinced that Leland was at the right hotel. Leland relaxed and went back to bed for a few more hours.
The Manager made arrangements for the Maintenance Chief to drive Leland to the VA Clinic for his appointment later that day, and Leland was feeling much better. Arrangements were also made for Leland to stay another night in the hotel.
The next day, the Manager found Leland in the breakfast area, talking on his cell phone, arms flailing, emotions running high. When asked what was wrong, Leland told the Manager that in trying to make arrangements for his next appointment, he’d been transferred to the Suicide Prevention Hotline. Turns out, he had told them that he would need to run across the interstate to get to the bus stop. (But they heard him say he was going to run onto an interstate.) He also said he had taken all his medication for the day. (But all they heard that he had taken ALL his medication at once.) It took the manager fifteen minutes to convince the Suicide Prevention people that Leland was NOT suicidal and that they did NOT need to send an ambulance to take him to the psych ward.
The manager called his wife, a member of the Gideon Auxiliary, to come by the hotel and take Leland to the Salvation Army to meet with his representatives from the V.A., and to arrange for temporary lodging. The Salvation Army expressed their appreciation to the hotel for taking good care of Leland and “providing comfort” in his time of need. Later that day, Leland was transported to the V.A. Medical Center which is one hour west of Lynchburg in Salem, Virginia. He carried with him a fresh copy of a PWT and expressed his interest in coming back to Lynchburg to work for the hotel after he was finished with his treatments.
The staff at the Comfort Inn & Suites continued to pray for Leland and share his story. They even went to visit him in Salem at the VA Medical Center. Leland’s story is not finished, but God placed him in the path of a faithful Gideon who used a Gideon hotel bible to encourage and minster to Leland in his time of need.
The Comfort Inn & Suites of Lynchburg hosts a local Gideon camp for their Saturday morning prayer meetings. During each meeting, they pray for the hotel staff and guests. It is stories like Leland’s that show God answers those prayers.
Several months prior to Leland’s visit, this property received a $5,000 grant from Choice Hotels to build “Tiny Houses” for veterans at Providence Farm, a local, non-profit 501(C)3 organization which is dedicated to improving the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of veterans. They achieve this by providing free, nationally-acclaimed courses focused on trauma recovery, relationship strengthening, finances, and health. Their courses offer a unique blend of clinical insight, professional expertise, and Christian faith-based support.
www.comfortiscaring.com #TEAMCOMFORT #Comfortsaysthanks
Yesterday, was my last day as General Manager of the award-winning COMFORT INN & SUITES in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Today, I will transition to my new position as Director of Sales & Marketing for the same hotel.
The timing could not be better… last week we achieved our ranking as the #1 Hotel in the nation for the Comfort brand in LTR Score by Choice Hotels out of 1,001 hotels in the United States.
We owe our thanks to other managers of in the Comfort/Choice Family, including the Quality Inn & Suites that has offered so many great suggestions and to Heather Culpepper-Beeker who is the VERY BEST Area Director in the world with Choice Hotels.
Also, Jones Loflin, author of the best selling book “Always Growing” which inspired #TEAMCOMFORT in Lynchburg, Virginia.
And of course to my beautiful wife, Heather Knopp , our children Matt, Greg & Ameliah as well as our adopted daughters Elena and Kendele.
I would also like to thank our owners, Dave & Susan Francis for giving me this opportunity and the wonderful support and encouragement of our #TEAMCOMFORT in Lynchburg, Virginia. I am the luckiest guy to have held two of the greatest jobs in the world.
The COMFORT INN & SUITES has earned a reputation of being an “Award-Winning Hotel” in Lynchburg, Virginia. During 2019-20 the locally owned and operated hotel has been recognized at the local, state, and national levels.
Locally, the COMFORT INN & SUITES has earned the “TripAdvisor Award For Excellence” for the 4th consecutive year and is currently ranked as the #1 recommended property in Lynchburg (out of 26 properties) by the nation’s leading travel review site. Last year, MSNBC named the Comfort Inn & Suites ONE OF THE TOP 50 HOTELS in the nation and the #1 HOTEL in Virginia under $200 per night.
Nationally, the COMFORT INN & SUITES has been recognized by Choice Hotels International with “Platinum Award” for being one of the top hotels in the nation within the Comfort brand. They have earned this award for four consecutive years. Currently the hotel is ranked as the #2 Comfort Inn & Suites in the United States out of 1,001 hotels within the Comfort brand.
The Comfort Inn & Suites opened in 2015 and is one of the few hotels in Lynchburg that is 100% locally owned and operated by Dave & Susan Francis. The Francis Family has been in the hotel business in Lynchburg for over 40 years. Dave Francis has also served as Chairman of Board for Best Western International.
Brian Knopp, General Manager of the COMFORT INN & SUITES shares that his Team Members live and work by the adage, “Comfort is Caring”. This philosophy is reflected in everything they do to make every guest’s experience outstanding.
The COMFORT INN & SUITES is located in Campbell County at 15001 Wards Road which is across the street from the Lynchburg Regional Airport. More information on the award-winning hotel is available at www.comfortiscaring.com
This year, #TEAMCOMFORT at the Comfort Inn & Suites in Lynchburg, Virginia was able to celebrate “Valentine’s Day” with both guests and fellow team members.
Brian Knopp, General Manager, says that Valentine’s Day is his favorite holiday and thought this would be a great opportunity to share appreciation and demonstrate the “Comfort Is Caring”.
Each team member was given a “Personalized Valentine” card, everyone including guests, enjoyed Valentine Candy, and there was a drawing for a Giant Hershey Kiss with was won by Luther Hensley, Maintenance Chief.
David Dudley, Assistant Manager/Front Desk Manager for the Comfort Inn & Suites likes to share that “Comfort is more than a sign on the buidling, it is about the Comfort & Care that is provided to every guest and members of #TEAMCOMFORT here in Lynchburg.”