It’s been just over two years since I wrote in this blog. My last blog post, “Overwhelmed”, was about my experience in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. A lot has happened since then, but I’m glad to come back with this post because it is all about something great that rose from the storm.
In The Beginning…
As I sat there, overwhelmed, watching the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, it became abundantly clear that, in my brokerage, we were very good at deploying human resources, but we lacked in processes & systems to deploy financial resources in time of need. We were fortunate that we only had a few agents seriously affected by the storm, but it was definitely a wake-up call. Something needed to be done, quickly.
Through a few text messages with my attorney, it was decided that we would start a charity, the CB&A Foundation.
What The Hell Are We Doing?
So, we started a charity. Now what? I had no idea what to do & it wasn’t like we were messing with something being scrutinized heavily by the IRS or anything! So, we created a Board of Directors. That would solve everything, right?
So there we sat, at a conference table, not having a clue what we were doing. Strength in numbers, or something like that. We started with the basics. Coming out of Harvey’s wake, we wanted to primarily make sure we had funds set aside to help our agents in times of emergency needs. In a brilliant move, one of the Board members completely made up a formula. As such, we now had a baseline for reserves.
From there, we decided that any funds raised in excess of that completely made up reserve amount would be put back into the community. Again, we had no idea what that looked like, but…
Our Agents Came Through, Again
Just like during the Harvey recovery, a simple mention to our agents resulted in an overwhelming number of suggestions for who to support. We went from not very sure to having a very real problem, there were so many options we didn’t know how to choose one. If you read the follow-up to this post tomorrow, remember this point. A seed was planted, but we needed time.
Based on multiple suggestions, the proximity to our office at the time, & its reputation in the community, we decided that if we had any money left over after filling the reserves, we would support Cy-Hope. Specifically, we would try to raise enough money, $15,000, to underwrite their summer camp. At this point, I honestly didn’t know if we would raise $15, much less $15,000.
In the following year, we left our franchise & went independent then moved our main office. It was something of a whirlwind, but we did it. We raised not only the amount for our reserves, but we raised enough to send 125 kids to summer camp, sponsor a calf in the calf scramble at Rodeo Houston, start a scholarship for entrepreneurs at Sam Houston State University, & match donations of 100 wreaths to Wreaths Across America.
Overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed by the generosity of our agents. Overwhelmed by the power to create change in our community when people of the same mind come together. Overwhelmed.
That’s it for now because I don’t want to ruin the surprise. I’ll be back on Thursday for the 2nd chapter of this post & the life-changing impact we will have in 2020 & beyond in the communities we serve. I am incredibly excited for it.
Thanks for reading. It feels good to write again. In 2020, I plan to post more often, include interviews with important (to me) people in the industry, & whatever feels good. Hope you’ll stick around for the ride.