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World Food Programme LETs Team Two: A Mission for Service

UPS’s commitment to helping the recovery in Haiti continues. Ivo Martinez and Francisco Martinez have taken over for John and Bill. Ivo is a UPS Air Cargo supervisor in Miami and Francisco is a Human Resources manager for UPS in Guadalajara, Mexico. 

Ivo explains how he prepared for this assignment and describes his first weeks on the job:

Upon notice of the opportunity to participate in this philanthropic assignment to the Dominican Republic, I first needed a day to discuss the matter with my wife Carla. Imagine telling your spouse you are VOLUNTEERING to spend up to six weeks on a special assignment in a foreign country! It went as well as one can expect. I am very fortunate to have her in my life.  

As I mentally and spiritually prepared for my deployment to the Dominican Republic, I pondered the question of how to explain to my five-year-old son, Patrick, that “Papi” will be gone for a period of up to six weeks.  My son, like many, is a creature of habit so I acclimated him to the notion that I leave every morning to the Dominican Republic and I come home the same night. 

The day I left for the Dominican Republic was a day of goodbyes and hellos. The sun had not risen, when I said goodbye to my wife. As I proceeded to my next, perhaps my hardest farewell, I stood at the door of my son’s bedroom and watched him continue his deep sleep. I whispered “goodbye”, blew him a kiss and walked away.

From those two goodbyes I proceeded to the first of many hellos to come. A hello to a partner I’ve never met, yet knew we would work well together in the WFP’s LETs program. As we arrived in SDQ, our UPS LETs Team predecessors picked us up and took us to the WFP’s headquarters. We were introduced to various members of the WFP and we retrieved our assignments for the next day. John Vera and Bill Torres briefed us on safety, security, and operational procedures. Then they “passed us the baton.”

Operationally, our first assignment seemed like a simple one. As the day progressed and we began encountering problems with the paperwork, I could not help but remember something that my first manager at UPS once told me. “Ivo, we run a simple business at UPS. We move packages from point A to point B. Now in order to do that successfully, the following three things need to take place:

  1. Physically move the package. 
  2. Move the paperwork.
  3. Move the data. 

If any of those three things do no move simultaneously, then we are subject to an interruption in service.” 

It was a successful day, because in the end we moved all three things. Equally as important, we continued the path that John and Bill paved and began establishing our own working relationships with peers, laborers, warehouse owners, and local authorities.

Category: Caring for Communities, Global Impact
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