For those of you who may not know, Houston, TX has been home to the Uncle Funky’s Daughter brand since inception. We have a long history in this city, and we are very proud to call it home. Just a couple of weeks ago, Hurricane Harvey took Houston by storm. In the days leading up to the hurricane, we prepared our Houston-based operations for the storm, but never did we imagine the damage it would cause to our beloved city.
As the storm made its wrath on our city, we were part of the first wave of deliveries to the George R Brown Convention Center (GRB), distributing blankets, pillows, and towels to those displaced from their homes. It was a harrowing drive, navigating closed highways and roads through downpours. Yet our drive was nothing compared to what families had endured just a day earlier in their evacuation efforts. At the GRB, it was incredible to witness first-hand the outpour of support by fellow Houstonians.
The next day, we delivered food to first responders who worked relentlessly to ensure the safety of our community. Once the storm finally settled down, my team and I immediately went out to continue support relief efforts. We volunteered at Forge for Families; a Houston-based nonprofit organization based in the Third Ward, an area that was greatly affected by the storm. We spent the day at the center lending helping hands by sorting through donations, helping clients displaced by the storm collect blankets, clothing, and water, and filling in wherever we were needed.
Oftentimes, while working on the mission, it was easy to forget to eat! I realized that others must be going through the same thing. Our team spent a day delivering food to families who were beginning the recovery efforts on homes flooded by Harvey. Many were baffled by our arrival. I was frequently asked the same questions: “Who are you? Who sent this?” The response was simple: “No, you don’t know me, and I don’t know you but, we thought you could use some food while you’re working.”
This is just the beginning of our efforts to support the city, as recovery efforts will extend through 2018. We have a lot to be thankful for, and are blessed that we made it through the storm unscathed. Now, it is our responsibility to pay it forward.
It felt great to see everyone pitching in. I was so proud of all of the people that collectively came together to help neighbors and strangers, giving sanctuary to the evacuees, donating clothes, food, water, money, time, effort. There were so many proud moments for Houston.
My experience was just a tiny microcosm of what is happening on a larger scale throughout the city. The whole experience has magnified a larger message into the world on how heroic Americans are, and how divisions between us really do not matter in the grand scheme of things.
The simple and undeniable truth is that we’re all in this together. Recognizing recovery efforts will prove to be long term. We have partnered with the Windsor Village Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund to allow us to continue to help with the recovery of Houston. Earlier this month, we launched our #HoustonStrong campaign, donating 20% of all purchases made on our website to Harvey Relief efforts. In addition, with any purchase you make over $35, you will receive a free 6oz. bottle of Midnite Train, a customer favorite!
This experience has certainly taught me how to not to take anything for granted, to love and appreciate people that are close to me, and to look around more often to see who needs a hand getting up. While there seemed to be so much hopelessness during the storm, I know Houston will come out stronger and better than before.
I certainly hope you enjoyed this edition of Renee’s corner, as much as I did writing it.
Until next time, keep it funky!