As many of us in the Houston area get back to work after catastrophic flooding, conversations are turning to how businesses and employees can help. At KRESS Employment Screening, a Houston-based company, this has been a topic we haven’t been able to stop talking about in the office. However, no matter where you are in Texas or the U.S., your company and employees can help Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
If you or your employees are wondering how you can help storm victims, here are a few ideas:
Match employee donations.
Hundreds of companies across the country have pledged millions of dollars to relief efforts. While high-dollar donations may not be in your budget, consider matching employee donations to help workers take part in the office’s social responsibility efforts. You can set a limit. For example, $10,000 matched for the entire office or perhaps $100 matched per employee. In fact, you can make it a competition amongst employees for who can raise the most.
Employee relief funds.
If your company has employees who were hit hard by Hurricane Harvey, their fellow employees and the company can pool donations to be given to these coworkers. You can even consider allowing employees to donate one of their vacation days to a pool for flood victims who need additional time off in order to recover from the storm.
Make a donation.
Every dollar counts. As a business owner, you can do your part by making a donation. In Houston, the American Red Cross and BakerRipley have set up shelters that are housing still housing hundreds of evacuees at Houston Community College, the Chinese Community Center, and a former Star of Hope shelter. You can also donate to American Red Cross and BakerRipley.
Have a drive for items.
For an alternative to monetary donations, consider donating much needed items to shelters. This is a great option for businesses located in Southeast Texas, where the storm hit hardest. Before beginning your donation drive, find out what items are really needed. For example, many shelters are turning away clothing donations because there is simply not a need for additional clothing. Baby items and blankets, however, are in high demand. Formula, diapers, blankets, and towels are good items to start with. Decide where you will donate by contacting the shelter and let them tell you what they need.
Give employees a day off to volunteer.
Many shelters and charities have plenty of volunteers while the media is still heavily covering a natural disaster. Once the media attention dies down, volunteers are often badly needed. Consider giving employees a paid day off to volunteer or organizing an office-wide employee volunteer day once the weather has calmed.
Employees Who Are Storm Victims
If you have employees who have lost homes, vehicles, or who have family members severely impacted by the storm, they will most likely need additional time off. Also take into account that many schools have closed and childcare may be unavailable. Consider offering alternate work arrangements, such as leave without pay, working from home, alternate hours, or letting workers bring their children to the office.
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