At Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® we had planned to join our ‘GenBlue’ family across the country by hosting several events here locally. Our office locations span 9 locations in 7 cities in San Antonio and the surrounding areas. We had teamed up with local shelters, gathered resources and promoted the National Adopt-a-Pet weekend.
What none of us could have planned for was the storm on the horizon. Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the evening of August 25th near Rockport, Texas. Home to many of our Sales Agents, family, friends and sister brokerage the Ron Brown Company. The category 4 hurricane sent wind gusts upwards of 100mph through the Texas Coastal Bend. This area is comprised of numerous small towns.
We watched helplessly as the torrential rains moved along the 300 miles of Texas coastline to Houston and farther north to Beaumont. This is not only a Texas story, the storm moved painfully slow over the course of a week bringing the flood waters into parts of Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
Without hesitation, Leesa Harper Rispoli rallied with the Sales Agents, employees and partners here to formulate a plan of action. In step with our parent company, Realogy, who pledged to match up to $75,000 for Red Cross Hurricane Harvey relief funds, we launched a fundraiser directly benefitting the American Red Cross. To-date this fundraiser has raised over $5,300.
Leesa put together this message:
Effectively immediately, on August 30th, we began collecting donations. We then planned for a Big Donation Event on Sept. 7th, just ahead of our Adopt-A-Pet event on Sept. 9th. We communicated directly with our fellow Coldwell Banker family members who sustained severe damage. We continue to encourage and support their respective fundraisers found here:
Even in the midst of a gas shortage caused by panic here in San Antonio, our Big Donation Event, unfolded with grand success. Allen Pozzi and Richard Davies, in true Texas fashion, brought in their barbecue pit and served up brisket, sausage, and fajita tacos. Each taco sold for $2 with the proceeds earmarked for relief efforts. Over $1,387.44 was raised in monetary donations. Checks were delivered directly to the San Antonio Food Bank, a hub of distribution for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Physical donations came in by the truckload until our entire trailer was filled with new goods including cleaning supplies, food, and hygiene products. Some of our donations were even sent via Amazon from other locations across the country like ones we received from Heather Ostrom at Coldwell Banker Roseville and Rocklin. We worked with a church who organized and delivered all the items collected. They put them directly into the hands of those affected and setup a team of volunteers who are assisting in the rebuilding process.
With our donations delivered on Friday, we pushed forward together to promote our Adopt-a-Pet event. It was no longer about only adopting pets who needed a home. It became about relieving the shelters who were feeling the pressure as they received incoming pets displaced by the flooding.
Our very own Cat Lodge, REALTOR® appeared on SALiving with TV personality Shelly Miles to voice how adopting a dog can make all the difference. Already full shelters here in San Antonio were seeing a large influx of animals that had escaped the storm or lost their families. Seeing a need, our friends at Adopt-a-Pet.com announced the release of a unique peer-to-peer platform that helps displaced people find local citizens who can provide temporary foster homes for pets until they can be welcomed back home.
Saturday, September 9th our offices joined together with God’s Dogs, SARocks, San Antonio Pets Alive and Pet’s Barn to take part in the nation-wide Adopt-a-Pet weekend. In total, 28 dogs found new homes, which for us is a tremendous success! Below are photos from our Adopt-a-Pet and they speak louder than any words we can share.
At the end of the day, we’re all Texans. What does it mean? It means we’re family, here to lift one another up. We rise only by lifting others. So if that means raising money, donating goods or hosting a pet adoption — count us in. If there is one thing we are passionate about here at Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® it is changing lives by affecting real change where we can. Texas is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. If this tragedy has taught us anything, it is that we are Texas Strong. Stay on this journey with us as we continue down the path to recovery post-Hurricane Harvey… and Hurricane Irma. It is a long road home for some but we will reach the destination, together.