When I learned that KW Relief needed volunteers to aid all those who were affected from Hurricane Harvey, I knew the Koester Team was going to assist as well. This was pretty exciting news since I’ve been trying to figure out how I could help.

On Wednesday morning at the crack of dawn, David and I traveled to Houston and met with numerous agents from all over at the KW Command Center. To say that it was a bit active would be an understatement. From agents signing up, to gathering in front of the various maps of all the damaged houses on the wall, to people getting their vehicles ready with all their necessary equipment. Once we were getting ready to sign up to assist, we met up with Smokey Garrett and Dennis Tuttle. They asked if they could join their group as they were headed out to a small town by the name of Sour Lake, TX, which was close to two hours away near Beaumont. They had severe water damage in one of their many neighborhoods and needed all hands on deck. We immediately agreed to assist. We were ready to follow them there when we realized we didn’t have rain boots.

I immediately called a nearby Walmart and asked if they had any rain boots left, but they were out. I called another one that was a bit farther than the first, and thankfully they had one pair for me, but David wasn’t so lucky. Thankfully another agent had an extra pair of boots. Once we got my rain boots, we started our journey to Sour Lake, TX. 

Once we were getting closer to Sour Lake, we noticed a few homes where you could tell they were also affected from the flood. While some of their fences were pushed back and had trash surrounding them, a few houses still had water in their front yards.

Before arriving to the neighborhood, we had to go through a checkpoint and were directed to a parking lot where we had to wait for the owners of the property to come and fetch us. As soon as we got into the neighborhood, you immediately noticed the piles of trash on the curbs of every house. It was daunting to see all these people’s prized possessions trashed to the curb. It varied from couches, paintings, family pictures to appliances that would no longer work. 

Once we stepped inside our designated house, several agents were already inside working hard removing soggy sheetrock and insulation from the walls. So David and I got to it and helped removing the items. For four and a half hours all 20 of us removed all of the sheetrock from the lower level of the home.

This was a very powerful and meaningful experience for me, knowing that you can lose everything in a snap of a finger to a horrible storm and i’m not talking about furniture but to all the people who died due to this devastating storm, it makes you cherish your family even more. I am thankful I could be there to help, and knowing that the owners of the house were much grateful we helped out. To see more picutres from our trip to Houston, visit The Koester Team’s Facebook page. 

There is still ways for you to volunteer or to donate.

KW Cares: Keller Williams agents can visit www.kwrelief.org  and either donate or volunteer.

American Red Cross: Visit www.redcross.org, call 800-REDCROSS or text “HARVEY” to 90999 and donate $10.

The Salvation Army: To donate, visit www.helpsalvationarmy.org, call 800-SAL-ARMY or text “STORM” to 51555.

SPCA of Texas: Accepting donations of cat litter, litter boxes, towels, blankets, treats, toys and newspapers. Donations can be taken to 2400 Lone Star Drive in Dallas or give money online at www.spca.org/give 

Save the Children is on the ground in Texas, and has set up a relief fund for kids and families affected by Harvey. www.savethechildren.org

You can also donate items to:

Trusted World Foundation

Goodwill

Tarrant Area Food Bank

SPCA of Texas