One day a terrible fire broke out in the forest. Frightened, all the animals fled. In amidst all the confusion, a little hummingbird started flying in the other direction to all the other animals. The lions, giraffes and elephants all stared in disbelief at the hummingbird, wondering what on earth it was doing flying towards the fire. Finally one of the animals asked: “Where are you going? Are you mad? We need to run away from the fire”. The hummingbird answered: “In the middle of the forest there’s a lake, I’m picking up a little bit of water in my beak and helping to put out the fire”. Astonished, the other animal could only say: “You’re crazy, that won’t help. You can’t put the fire out on your own”. And the hummingbird, sure of itself, answered: “Maybe, but I’m doing what I can”.
It might seem strange that we started this post with a fable; it is unusual for this blog. But, in this case, we thought it was necessary to start this way, so you can truly understand the essence of what we’re about to tell you. It’s a personal story, and a wonderful one; a story that goes beyond the corporate and the day-to-day work that often blinds us to what is really important.
It’s the story of Sara Fernández, our receptionist at Vincci Puertochico 4* in Santander. She’s our hummingbird.
Blankets for SOS Refugiados
It all started in Puertochico, the old fisherman’s district in Santander. Specifically, in the hotel Vincci Puertochico 4*, found right there in the neighbourhood.
With the aim of renewing the facilities in the establishment, we had decided to change the blankets on the beds for eiderdowns. Something that could have ended up being no more than just another change, if Sara hadn’t heard about it, which led to the start of the venture.
With the idea in her head, and hopeful excitement in her smile, our colleague started to organise everything. Her idea was clear: send all the blankets to the people who found themselves as refugees in Greece, in support of SOS Refugiados’ third humanitarian campaign, backed by the Fundación SEUR.
“I had the blankets, and the ok from the hotel director: I could see it so clearly, I couldn’t not do it, it was like it was put on a plate for me”, explains Sara. “It was a puzzle, where I just had to put the pieces together. Since I heard that fable years ago, I’ve been a hummingbird, doing my bit whenever I can”.
With the blankets all ready, she convinced the whole team at the hotel, who got to work packaging up the blankets to be sent on a pallet (which had to have certain measurements), donated by Atecsol, a company from Cantabria.
Sara admits it wasn’t easy. “The worst part was that time was against us, it happened right when there was a cold snap and each day of delays added to the stress”. But the hope and the desire to do her bit, like the hummingbird in the fable, gave the team sufficient strength to cope with both the stress and the work.
A dedicated team
The team were completely involved. The hotel’s Head of Household, Mar, was in charge of looking after the packets once the blankets had been put into them; the lads from the cafeteria covered the pallet with plastic wrap to get it ready for sending; and everyone helped Sara with the documentation, sticking stickers on the boxes with their contents, box numbers, destination, origin, etc.
“It’s been a really wonderful project and the whole team took part with a lot of excitement and hope, each doing what they could”, said the director of the Vincci Puertochico 4*, Miguel Hernández.
“I made a money box, so everyone who wanted to contribute to the cause could do so”, said the hero of our story. The aim was to raise enough to be able to send the blankets. And they raised it, of course they did! With the donations from the hotel’s employees they raised more than enough to pay for the shipping. “From the money donated, part was used to pay for the boat from Valencia to Greece (SEUR paid for the transport from Santander to Valencia) and the rest was transferred to SOS Refugiados’ account, so they could use it for whatever they thought best”, says Sara.
A message for everyone
These are the stories that help define a company, stories that unite teams. Amazing people with great ideas, who make the company where they work so much more.
“There are lots of us hummingbirds in the world, doing our bit, and between all of us we can put out fires, we just need to spread the word and want to help, each doing what they can, because there’s always something to do. It just needs to be done”, says Sara.
This is yet another project that adds to the solidarity work Vincci Hoteles has been carrying out for years. This time, we can’t shout out loud enough the huge THANK YOU that you, Sara, deserve. And to the whole team at Vincci Puertochico 4* Santander for doing your bit in this wonderful story.
Shall we go back for more water, hummingbirds? You too can help. [Link in Spanish]
If you want to find out more about Vincci Hoteles’ other initiatives, have a look here.