Over the past week, the world has watched the Houston community band together through one of the worst storms to ever hit the US. People, supplies and support have come in from across the country in an effort to help Houston start putting the pieces back together. At Protiviti, our Houston office has been in constant contact with one another looking for ways to help in any way possible. Using a Google doc, a private Facebook group and a group text, the needs of those affected and the services that others could provide were matched up and addressed.
Meanwhile half a world away, Protiviti UK Technology Consulting Associate Director Belton was desperately searching for a way to help his family, who was stranded at their home back in Houston. Their neighborhood was completely flooded with water levels only increasing due to water being released from the levies.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen,” said Belton. “I was helpless being so far away. I didn’t even know who to call. It’s so hard to be helpful when you’re in a foreign country.”
Belton’s parents and younger sister, who is bedridden with a severe illness, were stranded in their Houston home. Belton’s mom called for the family to be rescued, but when vehicles arrived, there were no stretchers or any way for his sister to be removed from the home. To make matters worse, the family was not fully prepared for a storm of this magnitude and were lacking much-needed food and key medical supplies.
Belton posted to Facebook for help from friends and hoped for the best. While a friend was able to deliver some items, his parents were still lacking the necessary medical supplies for their daughter, and not knowing how long they would be stranded, more food and water were also essential.
That’s When Our Team Stepped In
In a fateful turn of events, Belton had an unrelated email exchange with a Houston colleague, Elizabeth. They began talking about Houston and the efforts that the office was putting together. Elizabeth asked if his family needed anything, and when Belton replied with their needs, she added those needs to the Houston Google doc.
Consultant Faith first noticed the request on the Google Doc and called Belton’s family. After connecting with them, Faith posted the family’s needs to the group, and immediately Director Addie and Senior Consultant Emily stepped in to get volunteers to help.
“Within 15 minutes we had coordinated a team available to shop, someone with a canoe, and a meeting point,” Addie said. “The volunteers were amazing! The need arose and they were ready to go. No questions asked, no doubts, no concerns on how exactly they were going to get these supplies to them. It was never a matter of how but when. And within a couple of hours they were in the driveway. It was awesome!”
The next day, Belton awoke to the incredible news that Protiviti employees had worked together to deliver medical supplies, food and water via canoe to his family.
“Protiviti came through,” Belton said. “It’s crazy! I want to shout from the rooftops that my company did something so inspiring. I think it’s so inspiring that people from my company, from around the world, would actually do this.”
“I truly feel this company has, time and time again, demonstrated integrity, proactivity and professionalism in their actions; the responsibility of being there for its people. It’s more than just a firm,” Belton said. “It’s a collection of people who make it what it is – not just by what we do at work, but as a group of people coming together to be successful at whatever we do. I am still in complete awe.”
“Protiviti is living its mission of putting our people first,” said Belton. “I want the whole world to know how amazing these people are.”