Westgate Timeshare Employee Steps Up Big
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Haven’t we all been in a public place and witnessed an irate parent turn to his or her child in anger that was vastly out of proportion to the child’s misbehavior?
The question always becomes, when do I get involved and when do I mind my own business?
Thank goodness, Westgate Timeshare employee, Hilda Berrios, wasn’t afraid to get involved. Her actions have changed one little boy’s life forever.
On November 6, at Westgate Timeshare Resort’s Osceola County (Florida) sales center, Ms. Berrios, a Westgate administrative assistant, noticed a small boy trying to serve himself cereal at their buffet line. The longer she watched the boy, according to an article that appeared in the Orlando Sentinel, the more signs she saw that did not add up right.
No, this was not one of those instances of an overly angry parent—just the opposite. The seven-year-old boy Berrios had noticed did not seem to be in the company of any adult. Not only was he struggling alone to serve himself on the buffet line, but his overall appearance was frightening. He was far too thin, only 37 pounds, and badly bruised and cut.
So Berrios and two other Westgate timeshare employees stepped in, asking questions and contacting local authorities. It seems that the two women who serve as the child’s guardians (neither of whom is his mother or even a biological relative) were attending a Westgate timeshare sales presentation, and had had left the child alone in the car.
Investigation by the Florida Department of Children and Families revealed a history of previously undocumented abuse of the child, including burns, battery, tying the child with restraints, and even forcing him to drink shampoo. The DCF said that the actions of the Westgate timeshare employees, likely saved the boy’s life.
Lesson to all of us: When in doubt, speak up. It is better to offend someone and later need to apologize than to turn your back and ignore a situation, where a child’s wellbeing could be dangling by the thinnest of threads.
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