CommonSense Blog

Make It Happen: Providing Aid to the Texas Coast in the Wake of Hurricane Harvey

By Maya Ollie | Sep 05, 2017

The tragedy of Hurricane Harvey hits close to home for our team in Austin. We knew we had to act quickly to aid our friends, families, and fellow Texans who were impacted by the storm. Within 24 hours we identified a Houston organization with W2O connections to partner alongside and assembled a team to execute.

We approached our CEO Jim Weiss with our plan and he simply said, “make it happen.” So, that’s what we did. We chose to partner alongside Ecclesia Houston, a church leading the charge matching those in need with volunteers and equipping teams with tools and supplies to assist in cleanup and recovery. Ecclesia is located at the foot of downtown Houston and is dedicated to taking care of all parts of the community – making them the perfect partner for us.  They sent us a list of necessary recovery supplies, unavailable in Houston, and we got to work purchasing them in Austin.

Jim immediately committed $5K of his personal funds which allowed us to buy flood relief supplies, but our leadership team wanted to do more, so they took things one step further. We set up a fundraising campaign and W2O committed to matching all donations up to $5,000.

Due to the amazing generosity of our fellow colleagues along the long hallway and others, we surpassed our goal in under 24 hours and the donations continue to come in, putting us at over $8,500 raised by W2O employees and families so far. Combined with the $5K match and initial $5K donation, these efforts will result in over $18,500 to support recovery efforts.

Donate here if you’re interested in contributing to the W2O Group Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

Friday morning the ATXers loaded up the truck and our team headed out to Houston!

When we arrived in downtown Houston, we joined a frenzied effort to unload and organize recovery supplies for volunteer teams currently working at flooded homes. Ecclesia had run out of dehumidifiers, a prized commodity in these times, so the 11 dehumidifiers and 10-15 fans/blowers were a welcomed delivery which were immediately put to use. And the outpouring of support continued as trucks and cars loaded down with supplies continue to pour in. Seeing the need, we jumped in to help unload supplies for 2.5 hours before heading back to Austin. Here is a quick walkthrough showing the amount of recovery supplies:

Thanks to everyone who donated your money, supplies, talents, or time. We wouldn’t be able to #MakeItHappen for those effected by Harvey without you! Thank you for reminding us that we truly are #BetterTogether. And finally, here is a personal thank you from Chris Seay, lead pastor at Ecclesia Houston:

Contributions to this post were made by Steven Cutbirth, Operations Lead of MDigitalLife and Chris Olfers, Senior Manager of Applied Analytics at W2O Group.