When Hurricane Harvey began wreaking havoc upon the greater Houston area in Texas, U.S., Global Shop Solutions, a global provider of ERP software for manufacturers, wasted no time in leading relief, cleanup, and recovery efforts.
Following the company’s “safety first” mandate, all employees were contacted to ensure they were safely sheltered with their families. Next the company arranged to put employees and their families who had to evacuate their homes into hotels, and rented cars for the many who lost theirs in the floods so they would have transportation when the floodwaters receded.
“As a family-owned business, Global Shop Solutions has always embraced community service as a core value,” says president and CEO Dusty Alexander. “When the extent of the devastation hit home, our first thought as an organization was, ‘How can we help?’ I’m proud of our employees for reaching out to help friends, neighbors, and others they didn’t know. We didn’t have to ask them to do it; they took it upon themselves to get involved.”
When the worst of the storm had passed, Global Shop Solutions employees began organizing rebuild crews. After cleaning up several coworkers’ homes that suffered extensive damage, the crews then began assisting neighbors and others in their communities.
Returning water-soaked homes to a safe, dry condition was an arduous process that required removing everything from clothing, furniture, and appliances to carpet, walls, and insulation. Many homes also needed wet/dry vacuums to suction out standing water. Virtually all of them needed armies of large fans to dry the interior of the home.
According to Nick Knight, Global Shop Solutions’ director of consulting and implementation and a leader in organizing the crews, assisting with the cleanup was both rewarding and heartbreaking.
“It always feels good to lend a hand to people in need,” says Knight, “but you had to see the devastation to believe it. People work all their lives to own a home, and seeing them destroyed or seriously damaged pulls at your heart. Driving down a street and seeing furniture, washing machines, cabinets, and piles of sheet rock in front yard after front yard is a sight I can’t forget.”
During the rebuild efforts, many Global Shop Solutions employees worked side by side with volunteers from Sunshine Spaces, a nonprofit organization in Fort Worth, Texas, U.S., that provides dream-room makeovers for children with life-threatening illnesses. Although not affected by the hurricane, many Sunshine Spaces employees traveled to Houston to work with local rebuild crews.
“I’m impressed that the people of Sunshine Spaces would drive more than 250 miles to help our community,” adds Knight. “I’m also proud of the many Global Shop Solutions employees who left their families safe at home in order to help their co-workers. Many are still continuing to give, which reflects the service-minded culture of our company. One thing I learned through all this: everyone knows things are bigger in Texas, but none are bigger than the hearts of the people who live here.”