Novus: Weathering the storm together for Hurricane Relief
In Missouri, hurricanes are not often a threat, but for Novus International, Inc. the proximity to the devastation did not matter.
Part of their team was impacted, so the whole region came to help. The company raised over US$20,000 to help those affected by the storms in Texas.
Part of the company's workforce includes manufacturing and business offices in Texas. When Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area, Novus's employees faced damage to their homes and roadways. Thankfully, all employees weathered the storm and returned to work safely in a few days, but a few had significant storm damage. Many of Novus's employees in other offices in the US felt moved to support their southern colleagues, so an idea was hatched to initiate a company fundraising effort.
Barbara Stampfli-Savill, Novus's vice president and chief people officer, sent out a call for volunteers across the organisation to help the area affected by the hurricane. More than 20 individuals volunteered for the effort including employees from Little Rock and Houston. Professionals in finance to legal to marketing and research scientists all gathered together to help. Ideas for raffles, spirit activities and even a sommelier seminar to raise money for the cause were quickly put into action.
For one employee, the effort was particularly impactful. "It's hard to conceive the depths of the effect when you see things from afar, but you have a completely different perspective when it hits you at home, literally," said Megan Butler, a Novus volunteer. "My parents live in the area, and they lost everything. Even though I wasn't there, it meant so much to me for my employer, friends and colleagues to lend their support and help in the ways they were able."
Houston employees, wanting to help their friends and neighbours, immediately went out and volunteered at the local foodbank.
"Those affected will need help for many months to come, but we took the opportunity to become unified in the support that Novus was giving the region," said Danielle Cooper, a Novus volunteer working in Houston.
Novus is a longstanding partner with nonprofit, the United Way. The United Way chapters of Greater Houston, Brazoria County, Calhoun County and Beaumont and North Jefferson County all received a portion of the funds raised.
"All of this is only possible because of the boots on the ground the United Way provides," said Candace Rosen, active Novus volunteer. "With their help, we were able to get our donation where it can be put to good use."
More than US$10,000 were direct donations from employees, and François Fraudeau, president and CEO of Novus, authorised the company to match these donations dollar for dollar.