Employees stepping up to help out
Argo also offers to match eligible employee charitable donations at 150 percent, a program that employees were able to take advantage of in the aftermath of Harvey.
Betz encouraged fellow employees in Argo’s Houston office to volunteer. Some stepped up to provide childcare so others could help with the heavy labor of hauling waterlogged furniture, flooring and sheetrock out of homes that had several inches to several feet of floodwater in them.
“This is one of those situations where you can’t put it off for a month,” Betz said of the imperative need to stop mold before it overtakes sodden structures.
Some Argo employees volunteered at area shelters, while others signed up to wash, dry and fold laundry for those with no means of cleaning clothes.
Commercial Surety Senior Underwriter Sarah Stanfield spent a week alternately cleaning out flooded homes and making meals for first responders and displaced families. She wanted to help return just a little bit of normalcy to families’ lives and allow them to sit around a table together and enjoy a homemade meal.
In San Antonio, employees participated in a food drive and also donated supplies for the Corpus Christi region, thanks to the efforts of Senior Claims Adjuster Kara Cho, who offered to transport literally tons of supplies from San Antonio to the Corpus Christi area. In July, Cho and her husband, Michael, started their own long-haul trucking business, Great Dane Trucking.
“I thought, ‘I have to do something. What can we do?’ I said, ‘We need to do something on a much greater scale. Let’s try to fill the truck and take supplies to them,’” Cho recalled.
The Chos offered to deliver supplies, donating the gas and use of their 53-foot trailer and truck. And on September 16, the couple, their children and their Great Dane, Chip, headed to Corpus Christi, where they were met by claims employees Angela Rea and Rogelio Hernandez and his brother.
The Chos’ trailer was loaded with 15,000 pounds of supplies, including baby food, diapers, cleaning supplies, brooms, mops and hygiene products. The items were donated by Argo employees and a local nonprofit, which also sent a second truck loaded with supplies.
“It just seemed like diapers for days,” Cho said of the donations the group helped to unload and sort in the warehouse of the receiving nonprofit, North Padre Watch, located about 12 miles south of Port Aransas.
“They are bathing with bottled water,” Cho said of the scene she encountered in the area around Port Aransas. “They don’t have power; they don’t have running water. They need grills because they have to cook outside.”
The Chos also delivered three pallets of bottled water to a makeshift supply center run by locals.
Rea, a Houston native, recalled her own experience nearly a decade ago with Hurricane Ike.
“I remember living through Ike as a high schooler,” she said. “We didn’t have power. I remember my parents had trouble keeping food cold.”
Rea felt strongly about helping out.
“No family should ever be worrying about where their next meal will come from,” she said.