'Anjelica's giving heart'


'Anjelica's giving heart'

27-year-old Sandals employee devotes time, energy to charity

Thursday, July 30, 2020

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NEGRIL, Westmoreland - She started at Sandals Negril in 2016— a dream realised for 27-year-old Anjelica Nunez who had her heart set on joining the company after learning about their work in the communities.

“I remember being at my aunt's house in Cove, Hanover, and seeing a group of persons cutting a school yard, painting the building and just laughing and having a good time. I inquired about them and just the way the community members responded told the story. They spoke about Sandals and their foundation with such respect and I just fell in love with the company. What sealed the deal was hearing directly from a team member about how much she enjoyed volunteering at work,” shared Nunez.

She had such an intense desire to work for Sandals that her previous boss knew and was even the one who told her of a vacancy at Sandals Negril's resort shop. Nunez immediately applied and was offered the position.

After only a few days on the job, a call for volunteers to participate in a Sandals Foundation Earth Day project went out to the team. First to submit her name, the young philanthropist started what would become a deeply rewarding journey with the company's outreach arm.

Even more profound for her was that her life's work of philanthropy would continue to thrive in her new place of employ.

“Learning that I didn't have to take a day off to volunteer, but that Sandals Negril encouraged and gave team members time during their shift to participate was the icing on the cake. Many people don't even know how much this truly means to me. They don't know that I grew up seeing my grandmother take in elderly persons who couldn't take care of themselves and just had them living in her home. My mother was very involved in the Red Cross and dedicated a lot of her days to helping out at infirmaries and preparing meals for indigents,” she said.

Whenever Nunez was not in school, she was right there with her mother at an infirmary, combing and cutting hair or feeding those who couldn't do so for themselves.

One of Anjelica's most humbling experiences in her life of serving others was an encounter with an elderly lady in her community in 2015.

“I remember walking home and seeing her stepping out of her house and feeling around. I ran to offer my assistance and she shared that she's been blind for almost a year. She had no one to take care of her and her small home was in one of the worst conditions I've ever seen,” she shared.

She said she immediately called her mother to come with cleaning supplies and they cleaned the house, washed everything that could be washed and solicited donations to assist with renovating her dilapidated home. To this day they still go by to check on her, clean, wash and provide her with food whenever they can.

Nunez quickly became one of the resort's leading Sandals Foundation ambassadors.

“Anjelica came on almost every event we had. Even her days off were spent out in the communities and schools with us. From hospital visits, planting peace gardens in schools and troubled communities to dressing up in Santa Claus garb for Christmas treats and running marathons for charity, she was always at the ready,” shared regional public relations manager for Sandals and Beaches Resorts, Jervene Simpson.

“What was even more remarkable was that she was the voice for persons who needed help in destitute communities but didn't know who to ask. She came to the team, shared the needs and we acted on them. At no time was it ever about her, it was always about those who needed a helping hand.”

The young philanthropist shared that she has had to scale back a little because of the significant impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on her finances. But, through the Sandals Foundation she was still able to see others getting much-needed help. “During the closure of our resorts, I was just so humbled to see the company still reaching out and helping others. We donated care packages to the elderly in many communities, we assisted in purchasing ventilators for hospitals and provided devices and data plans for students to help with distance learning. Another great achievement in my parish of Hanover was seeing the recent opening of the newly renovated Green Island Branch Library by the foundation.”

“I love making people happy, I love being around people who love to make people happy. My dream is to always live a life of purpose, and my purpose is serving others. Working with this company is really me living my dream and I wouldn't want it any other way.”

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