Following Hurricane Katrina a plea for help came from a person in a small town in Mississippi and was heard by the team at Exhibitor Source. They shared this plea with others and soon a plan was emerging to provide aid. Since money wasn’t the best option for some of our staff, so they offered what they did have: their skills and time. With donations of gas cans, fuel from our office, chainsaw, stuffed animals, boxes of food and water from our employees and their families, 11 team members and family members headed to Mississippi for a hard day of work clearing large trees from victim’s homes.
Middle Tennessee Floods
In 2010, devastating flooding covered much of Middle Tennessee leaving thousands with severely damaged homes, many of which were inhabitable. We knew that we had to help. As a company, we came together and helped 11 families. We specifically sought out to help single moms and the elderly. Of the people in those categories we assisted people without insurance to help make the repairs.
The single-mom of one family we helped had recently had heart surgery prior to the floods. Despite her condition, when it became clear that their house was going to flood, she and her children moved everything they could possibly move from the 1st floor to the 2nd floor. This family had no flood insurance and sustained substantial damage to their home. Without repairs it was inhabitable. We helped this family for 3 months to get them back up to speed. We were able to get all of the drywall needed to repair her home donated and completely rebuilt the first floor of her home.
Another family we helped was an elderly family. The man had cancer and couldn’t be exposed to the mold because of his chemotherapy treatments. John Hamari was driving by and decided to stop to see if they could use some help. The family accepted his offer to help and we were able to help them get back in their house.
Tornadoes tore through Tuscaloosa, AL and leveled everything in its path. Even though these storms hit AL, they also hit particularly close to home because this is one of our team member’s hometown. The Tuscaloosa community had lost everything, and we needed to help. Our team member’s immediately got to work and actually arranged a collaboration with our clients to provide supplies that we would deliver to the community. We sent out an email to our database letting our clients know what we were doing, and asking if they would like to participate by donating much needed supplies. We even offered to make pick-ups at their offices to get the supplies. One of our freight vendors, Team Worldwide, offered to go around middle Tennessee and pick up items that our clients were donating. Between our company donations and our client donations, we ended up with a full 18-wheeler of supplies that we delivered to the community. We also had a team of people who went to help with the disaster relief efforts on the ground in Tuscaloosa.