Between Aug. 25 and Sept. 11, 2017, several of our communities faced unprecedented sequential hurricanes in Texas and Florida. Residents in these communities, as well as CCMC team members who live and serve there, endured personal loss associated with these destructive storms. But, in between the preparation, the waiting, the sheltering and the recovery, something beautiful happened. People connected. Community emerged. As we continue on our quest to “return to normal,” we want to share some of these remarkable stories. We hope they fill you with inspiration, hope and a renewed passion for the spirit of your own community. They have certainly done this for me.
Over a four-day period, slow-moving Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 40 inches of rainfall over eastern Texas. With peak accumulations of 64.58 inches, Harvey is the wettest tropical cyclone on record in the United States. The resulting flooding affected hundreds of thousands of homes, displaced more than 30,000 people and prompted more than 17,000 rescues.
The Groves | Houston, Texas
After Hurricane Harvey struck, the residents of The Groves staged a work party. Since The Groves sustained minimal damage, it was determined volunteers would focus their efforts on others who truly needed extra help in the greater Houston area. One resident knew of a group that needed assistance with demo work at nearby Atascocita Shores. After loading up cleaning supplies and tools, The Groves work party set out. Some residents stayed behind to wash loads (upon loads) of laundry from Atascocita neighbors. Others organized a supply drive, collecting food and household necessities for those affected by Harvey. Together, the work party served three different households. Neighbors helping neighbors has built community.
Del Webb Sweetgrass | Richmond, Texas
After several days under a mandatory evacuation order, Sweetgrass residents returned home to find that the community fared well through the storm. The surrounding areas, however, were not so fortunate. So, residents decided to spend their Labor Day collecting donations for local neighbors in need. More than 3,000 pounds of food and hygiene items and close to $15,000 were donated. A second fundraiser would bring in an additional $16,000. The food and clothing were distributed through the Helping Hands facility in North Richmond. The money benefited the flood victims of Western Fort Bend County. Neighbors helping neighbors has built community.
Towne Lake | Cypress, Texas
This boating community did not hesitate to use their watercrafts to assist in rescue efforts. For nearly two weeks, volunteers provided boat rescues, breakfast, lunch and dinner to three surrounding communities. They raised $14,000 selling Houston Strong T-shirts and sent $3,000 worth of cleaning supplies to hard-hit Rockport. The community developer, Caldwell Companies, established a relief fund and donated the first $50,000. Neighbors helping neighbors has built community.
Travisso | Leander, Texas
This community organized a food drive for the Central Texas Food Bank. Neighbors joined together to collect 681 pounds of food for donation. Neighbors helping neighbors has built community.
Devonshire | Forney, Texas
Donation drives were organized for food, clothing, toiletries and other necessities. The community response proved overwhelming, and the Trusted World Center benefited from an entire truckload of goods for those in need. Neighbors helping neighbors has built community.
BackCountry | Highlands Ranch, Colorado
The community raised $1,000 for the JJ Watt Foundation during a viewing party for a Denver Broncos game. Neighbors helping neighbors has built community.
Wildridge | Oak Point, Texas
This new community of 110 homeowners hosted a fundraiser that raised $1,300. Every penny was donated to the Houston Flood Relief Fund. Neighbors helping neighbors has built community.
With recorded winds of 185 mph, Hurricane Irma caused more than $100 billion in damage and left more than 10 million Floridians without power. This widespread loss of power significantly impacted cellphone service throughout the state. In the end, Irma claimed the lives of at least 50 Floridians.
Celebration | Celebration, Florida
As forecasting models continued to convey a potential Florida impact, local community leaders at Celebration convened. The emergency action plan was implemented, and an informational flyer was created to provide residents quick access to important phone numbers and websites. Residents quickly responded to a call for volunteers on social media; sandbag lines trickled into the one and two-hour zones. Others offered up cold drinks and cupcakes to those waiting in the long line of vehicles. As dawn ascended on Sept. 11, residents were at the ready to take back their community. While representatives from the community’s managing organizations assessed damage and potential impacts, residents took to the streets and sidewalks to clear debris and offer water and assistance anyway they could. Chainsaws, shovels and brooms were not the only tools used to help assess damage, as residents even utilized drones to give neighbors in search of potential problem spots a bird’s eye view of their roofs. Local students participated in a fundraising campaign for their Houston peers. Neighbors helping neighbors has built community.
Shearwater | St. Augustine, Florida
The community hosted an intense donation drive for clothing, medical supplies, non-perishable food items, diapers, baby supplies, paper towels, cleaning supplies, toiletries and inflatable mattresses. Resident volunteers coordinated efforts with Feeding Northeast Florida. Neighbors helping neighbors has built community.
CCMC has supplemented these remarkable community efforts by providing additional resources to those affected. We have donated $5,000 to a fund that will support affected employees, $5,000 to the Salvation Army for Harvey/Irma relief and $2,500 to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. Additionally, our employees donated more than $2,000 in gift cards to support their team members.
At CCMC, we build community by bringing people together in the neighborhoods where they live and in the offices where we work. Simply put, we create experiences that connect people. These stories of good works are just a few examples of our purpose personified. They are proof that neighbors helping neighbors has built community. Thank you for inviting CCMC to be one link in these connections.