VIP Staffers share a few of their first-hand experiences of how Texans came together during a great time of need.
Larry, Director of Sales
The first order of business when the hurricane hit was to create a text and email chain to make sure our office staff was safe. It was a great way to stay in touch, feel connected, help where needed and support each other in every way possible.
During the week of Harvey, I spent a lot of time on the phone talking to our employees and clients. We recognized how important it was to get as much of our payroll done as possible because many of our employees were in shelters with little or no money. I can’t begin to relay the emotion in our employee’s voices when they found out we were getting their accounts funded. I was so proud of our VIP family, our Houston team, corporate leadership, accounting team and true partnership with our customers for doing whatever was humanly possible to get payroll processed that week.
On a personal note, my wife and I evacuated to North East Texas during Harvey. On Sunday, post-Harvey, we returned to Houston. We’d loaded my truck with water, bug spray and dust masks; things in short supply in Houston. Upon return to Spring, we drove through the surrounding neighborhoods giving everything away to people cleaning up. At every stop there were smiles, tears and heartfelt thanks. Those with plenty directed us to people in need. It was amazing to be a part of what was happening all over town; Texans helping out neighbors; any way we could.
Wendy, Professional Services Manager
During the storm, my family had to evacuate from our home. After our evacuation was complete, we helped our neighbors evacuate by floating their young children and bags of possessions to safety on air mattresses. A few days later once roadways were a little clear, I was able to make my way to the office and handle as many calls as possible and assist in filling last minute orders for our clients and VIP team.
Ana, Director of Operations
Throughout the storm our main goal was to get all of our employees paid. Many of them were left without housing or transportation due to the flood. It was a priority to keep in constant communication with employees and clients to follow up on the current weather situation for their area as well as their safety. The Houston offices pulled together and managed to process all payroll during a very critical time while also dealing with our own families/neighbors.
Since then I have been heavily involved with my local church. They became a distribution center after Harvey, providing more than 30,000 meals, hygiene products, canned goods, diapers and much more. We distribute these necessities to areas heavily affected by the storm on a regular basis and will continue to do so for as long as it is needed.
In the midst of the devastation and disaster after Harvey, I felt the need to give back to the community. Thankfully, my family and I made it out of the storm safely; others were not so blessed. I was given the opportunity to volunteer at my church to help the effected families around the area. We collected and sorted donations from toiletries and canned goods to clothing and cleaning supplies. Part of the clothing was taken to a local hospital and nearby shelter. The rest was made into kits that were distributed among the effected neighborhoods in the area. More than just helping people in need, this was also a very gratifying personal experience. We can make a difference for those that were effected one family at a time.
Kristen, Senior Recruiter
My entire neighborhood flooded with the exception of three homes. We had waist deep water in our streets for about five days after the initial flooding, and everyone was running short on supplies. My husband and two of our neighbors headed out Wednesday morning to assess the situation and the ability to get to a store. They found that they could get through in our neighbor’s truck if they followed a specific path. They then returned to get lists and cash for those in need, but when they tried to leave again the truck wouldn’t start. My husband was determined, so they got out his tool box and began to remove spark plugs and dry them out. They got the truck started and were able to provide some necessary supplies to our neighbors to ease the stress of the situation.
Christy, Business Development Consultant
VIP asked customers to reach out if they had any needs arise and our staff did our best to react as quickly as possible. One customer reached out to us and asked for assistance in securing cleaning materials and other supplies. I delivered an entire carload filled with their requests on behalf of VIP Staffing. This customer alone had seven employees who lost everything and thirty more who were displaced. I have also personally been delivering meals to first responders in our neighborhood, grocery shopping for an elderly neighbor, donating essentials and sorting donations at my old high school. It has been humbling and gratifying to lend a helping hand to so many in need.