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The Woodlands, Texas-based Global Shop Solutions, makers of ERP—Enterprise Resource Planning—business process management software that serves a wide variety of manufacturers, including those making display fixtures, reports that its building suffered no physical damage in the recent Hurricane Harvey hit on the Gulf Coast.
The Woodlands is a subdivision about 30 miles north of the center of Houston.
However, the company does say that some of its employees lost homes or cars and other possessions. It says that when the destruction began, all employees were contacted to ensure they were safely sheltered with their families. Next, the company says it arranged to put employees and their families who had to evacuate their homes into hotels, and rented cars for the many who lost theirs in the floods so they would have transportation when the floodwaters receded.
When the worst of the storm had passed, Global Shop Solutions employees began organizing rebuild crews. After cleaning up several co-workers’ homes that suffered extensive damage, the crews then began assisting neighbors and others in their communities. The company says returning water-soaked homes to a safe, dry condition was an arduous process that required removing everything from the inside, sometimes using wet/dry vacuums to suction out standing water and having to use multiple large fans in each home to dry them out.
Nick Knight, Global Shop Solutions’ director of consulting and implementation, was one of the leaders organizing the crews. He calls the work both rewarding and heartbreaking.
“It always feels good to lend a hand to people in need,” says Knight, “but you had to see the devastation to believe it. People work all their lives to own a home, and seeing them destroyed or seriously damaged pulls at your heart. Driving down a street and seeing furniture, washing machines, cabinets and piles of sheet rock in front yard after front yard is a sight I can’t forget.”
During the rebuild efforts, many Global Shop Solutions employees worked side by side with volunteers from Sunshine Spaces, a nonprofit organization in Fort Worth, Texas, that provides dream-room makeovers for children with life-threatening illnesses. Although not affected by the hurricane, many Sunshine Spaces employees traveled to Houston to work with local rebuild crews.
“I’m impressed that the people of Sunshine Spaces would drive more than 250 miles to help our community,” says Knight. “I’m also proud of the many Global Shop Solutions employees who left their families safe at home in order to help their co-workers. Many are still continuing to give, which reflects the service-minded culture of our company.
One thing I learned through all this: everyone knows things are bigger in Texas, but none are bigger than the hearts of the people who live here.”
Global Shop Solutions says it is encouraging anyone who would like to help to donate to the American Red Cross.