Being a lover of rain, I was elated as I viewed the forecast a couple of weeks ago. The deluge of rain came as predicted, and I found myself with this sense of joy as our yard seemed greener and livelier than I remembered it being in years. As I would drive home and peer over at my favorite view of Lake Travis, my heart would swell with happiness to see those islands slowly disappearing. It seemed Mother Nature was smiling down on us and finally bringing an end to the years of drought we had been facing. But just as quickly as those feelings of excitement came, feelings of fear rolled in right behind them over Memorial Day weekend.
What is typically a weekend of sun-soaked fun in Austin, Texas became a weekend of a fear, disaster and a very different type of soaking. With each piercing warning alarm from our phones alerting us to flash flood and tornado warnings, the kids became more frantic. I put on my brave face and assured them that everything was going to be just fine. And then the flooding began, not near our home but all around us. As friends and family reached out to make sure we were ok, I thought I should check out the news to see just what was being reported. I had no idea of the destruction and devastation just miles from us, nor of the homes and lives in peril. The first close hit came when I found out that my cousin’s home in Houston had been flooded. Then I received an e-mail from the Southwest Movers Association alerting us to the fact that one of our fellow member families, the McCombs, had been impacted by this flood. At that point, there was still hope that members of the family might be found. As I write this, the only hope is that there will be peace and healing in the face of tremendous tragedy. As I write those words, I find myself at a loss for what more I can say about this. I find myself trying to push the images of the young, beautiful mother and two precious children to the back of my mind because it is too hard to process or understand how these precious lives could be cut so short. Knowing that focusing on the tragedy will in no way help, I find myself turning my focus to how we can make a difference. How can we help and in some way honor those whose lives were cut short?
In looking for a way to spin positive out of such an immense and far-reaching negative, we have chosen to take the Memorial Day Flood and its senseless devastation as an opportunity for GAM to launch our GREATER Giving campaign. See, our passion for impacting lives does not stop at taking care of our clients and make the moving experience GREATER for them, this company is also our vehicle to make a GREATER difference in our community. Before we invested the first dollar in our company, we agreed that philanthropy had to be at the heart of our business model because it is what we as a family are about and this business, being a representation of our family, had to have this element front and center. So here we begin putting into action the belief that it is our responsibility, our mission, to give back. We truly believe that it is possible to change the world one small act at a time, and with that we launch our GREATER Giving campaign now, in June, by supporting initiatives to assist fellow central Texans impacted by the Memorial Day Floods. If you know of initiatives, organizations or individuals specifically that need help, please e-mail me directly at email@example.com.
You will see a lot of focus in my blogs and Facebook posts this month sharing ways that you too can help. Today’s featured initiative is connecting you with United Way, a charity that I have become an avid supporter of during my tenure with 3M. I have linked here to their website which will give you a good starting point to begin your search for ways that you too can make a difference. Join us, let’s lock arms as we lift others through GREATER Giving.