Hurricane Sandy is starting to wind down and while there has been much damage, it seems most of the HTG members on the east coast have been spared for the most part. I sent out personal emails to our affected members, and received responses from over 40 of them yesterday. The good news is that while there are definitely some challenges with power and water and other inconveniences, overall the companies seem to be on their way to recovery. The feedback was positive and spirits were generally very good. A few were closed due to lack of power, or in some cases no phone service or Internet access. But in general it appears our members were spared to a large degree, and for that we are very grateful.
Hands That Give remains ready to come to the aid of any of our HTG members in need of support. When we announced this program 1.5 years ago, it was for events just like this storm. But it also is about much more - the illness that knocks someone out for an extended period of time. An untimely death that causes major interruption. Issues with a marriage or family that need immediate and prolonged attention. Those are all equally disruptive to a small business when they occur. And so Hands That Give was birthed to make sure no business would be left alone to face the natural disasters or personal disruptions that can come at us from any side without warning.
As the email responses began to pour in yesterday, a couple things really struck me. In most cases, the tone of the response was extremely positive. Let's face it - this storm really was a big one and caused some major disruptions. There was plenty of cause to be a bit whiny about having to deal with it. But the owners of our HTG member companies are taking it in stride as just another bump in the road to overcome.
Nearly everyone mentioned focusing on getting customers back in business. In almost all cases, these companies are serving folks who took it a lot worse than they did. And so the effort is being put into getting people back on line and in business. That is what HTG members do - they serve their clients well and make sure their technology is functional so they can run a business and not worry about IT.
But the most common response I got was this one: if anyone needs help, let us know. We will free some people up to go and help. That is the heart of HTG. We are a family that comes alongside our own to assist in times of need. We are committed to be Go-Givers in those challenging situations when things seem overwhelming. We are ready to drop everything and go at the drop of a hat to BE a difference. That is why I feel so blessed to be part of HTG. Because we have the best people in the world as part of our organization. We have people who understand that it is in giving that we are most blessed. It is in helping others that we receive the greatest gifts. It is when we put others first, that we are touched in powerful ways.
My spirits were flying high after I was able to connect with HTGer's who had every right to be discouraged and frustrated. This storm wasn't really on the schedule. Everyone had things to do and places to be, but that was all thrown out the window as Mother Nature took the stage. But the beauty of real leaders is that they adapt to the circumstance and adjust so they can continue to lead. That is what I experienced as I communicated with HTG members today. Great attitudes, focused on serving their own clients, but available if needed to go and serve their fellow members. That is what makes HTG work. I couldn't be more proud of the team that is HTG. We may still get the opportunity to respond, and if we do, I look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with you to care for those who need our help.
Thank you HTG members for your caring. Pray for those who are recovering and putting things back in place. And thank God for keeping people safe and sound in the midst of the storm. I look forward to seeing you in Orlando next week. It is going to be a great time as we share life and business together.
Don't forget to vote before you head south!
See you in Florida!