We're very happy to bring you a guest blog post from Jakeup Rios, an associate at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, who discusses the wildfires near Austin, TX and how his colleagues stepped in to help.
The Hyatt family. This is a term that many of us have heard and many of us experienced when interacting with guests and co-workers. We've always had a close working relationship with our sister property, Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa in Bastrop, Texas, and after the devastating wildfires that occurred earlier this month, we realized just how deep that bond is.
Thirty of our Hyatt family members lost homes in the fire, and countless others had to be evacuated. To have such a tragedy hit so close to home was eye opening to all of us.
Feeling like we needed to help in any way possible, Hyatt Regency Hill Country quickly implemented a teddy bear drive for children who had lost everything in the fire.
We opened up "Bear Hugs from Hyatt," and the response was enormous. Local companies Synergy Marketing + Advertising and The Original Image donated time, design, and printing materials to create 1,000 tags for the stuffed animals. Radio stations carried the story and one generous listener even donated 300 new stuffed bears!
As we sorted through the hundreds of donations, it was hard not to get emotional. We had children spending their allowance money to make stuffed animals to send to a fellow child they had never met, but who had lost everything. Even at this young age, they understood the concept of giving to those in need. We had church organizations literally hand-stiching and stuffing teddy bears for the cause. Hyatt Regency Hill Country employees spent many hours helping to sort, tag, bag, pack, and look through each and every item donated, all to show support for their local community. The outpouring of support led to over 600 stuffed animals being donated to the drive.
This experience reminded our property of two things: that the human spirit is capable of doing incredibly generous acts, and the importance of the Hyatt family. What happened in Bastrop is a tragedy, but through strength and teamwork that incredible things can happen. The bond between our two properties was strengthened and we were reminded just how lucky we are to work for such an amazing company.