A Helping Hand
Outsourcing Services International takes pride in getting involved in the community. In El Salvador, the compact and picturesque Central American country where OSI is based, the company has cleaned beaches, given out gifts at orphanages during the holidays and led food drives following natural disasters.
But sometimes it’s the smaller, more personal gestures that make the biggest impact.
During the pandemic, OSI President Joel Ciniero learned of a family on the outskirts of San Salvador that was having a particularly rough time.
The father, a hardworking man, had died of a heart attack.
The mother struggled to support the family financially.
The children—one boy and three girls—fell behind in school, because
they didn’t have access to the technology they needed to participate in online classes.
“What struck me about this particular situation was the father had passed,
the mother had very little money and the young boy was apparently a nice kid, hardworking,” said Ciniero. “But now he probably had no way to better his life, to escape that cycle of crime and the gangs. There was no way for him to elevate himself out of the situation.”
OSI decided to get involved. The company gave the family smartphones and the young boy, Miguelito, a Lenovo laptop computer. The local church paid for the family’s Internet service, allowing the kids to return to school.
“Our reaction was joy and gratitude,” said the mom, Maria Pérez.
“We were excited by the idea of learning how to use these tools that
were new to us.”
Pérez went on to say that the phones, computer and Internet service have benefitted the family in many ways. She said they allowed her children to return to school and to “have the opportunity to move forward” in life.
Miguelito added, “Thank you for giving us the opportunity to continue our studies! I’m taking my online classes and learning something new every day!”
Ciniero has received encouraging reports about the family, Miguelito
in particular. Apparently, he is studying regularly and making good marks.
Ciniero admitted that he was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
He wasn’t sure the gifts would be that useful; he didn’t realize how big of an impact a cell phone and computer could have on someone’s life.
“When it comes to community involvement, companies often think big,” said Ciniero. “Can we build houses? Can we renovate schools?
This experience showed me that small things can make a difference, too.”
The experience clearly resonated with Ciniero, who has been based in
El Salvador for ten years. It has him and others at OSI thinking more about community involvement.
“We’re starting to think of ways to get the U.S. companies we work with more involved in our social-betterment or corporate-responsibility programs here,” he said. “These companies benefit from the hard work and dedication of the people of El Salvador. They should want to do more to make the community a better place to live.”