This remark was overheard at one of the homes our associates helped to “de-muck” during Mega Relief week. As our Keller Williams family discovered in Houston, Texas, there are no strangers in the aftermath of a tragedy like Hurricane Harvey. When help was needed, help was given – no matter if the homeowner was a family member, friend, mere acquaintance, or had never met the person lending a hand.
In Katy, a suburb of Houston, we had the opportunity to work side by side with homeowners whose home was severely damaged by floodwaters. Having lived in their home for more than 17 years without incident, this family’s life was forever changed when the storm hit. Perched on the second floor of their home for several days – without power – they waited to be rescued. However, with several feet of water in their home and street and downed trees blocking passage, rescue wasn’t easily attainable. Every day, they’d power on their cellular phones briefly to request help. When help arrived, it came in the form of a rubber boat: the only type capable of passing the downed trees and debris strewn everywhere.
And yet, it was with a positive attitude and a friendly smile that these homeowners welcomed us into their home. While there was a large amount of work to be done given the extent of the damage, the owners lightheartedly commented that it was their opportunity to do some tidying. The hours of manual work in 90-degree heat left our associates exhausted, but the mood on the bus ride back to Austin was joyous – being part of the team working side by side with this family had filled our hearts with gratitude. Ultimately, the feeling we left with was far greater than the effort we exerted.
Written by Victoria Lukachik, KWRI associate, on behalf of the KW volunteers who spent the day serving with pleasure.
Keller Williams is currently raising $20 million for hurricane recovery on the back of pivoting its annual Mega Camp conference into Mega Relief: a weeklong disaster-response event. From Sept. 11-15, thousands of attendees cleaned flooded homes, volunteered with nonprofits, and worked with the City of Austin and local businesses to gather supplies and raise funds.