March 17, 2021
In response to the devastating winter storm that hit Texas and other parts of the United States a few weeks ago, Southwire’s Project GIFT provided a tractor trailer filled with pallets of water to Houston Food Bank, an affiliate of Feeding America.
According to the Texas Tribune, the state faced record-low temperatures, snow and ice that made roads impassable. Additionally, as a result of the storm, many were without access to electricity, and, in some areas, these electricity blackouts lasted for days. Stores were limited on their stock of essential items, like food and water, so a donation to the food bank benefited many Southwire employees and community members in the area.
CenterPoint Energy, a Southwire customer based out of Houston, Texas, sells and delivers electricity and natural gas to more than 4.5 million homes and businesses in multiple states. In Houston alone, CenterPoint Energy delivers reliable and safe electric power to over 2.5 million customers in the greater Houston area. In 2008, Project GIFT partnered with CenterPoint for disaster relief efforts in response to Hurricane Ike. Due to their local presence and the companies’ previous partnership, the decision to work together and give back to the community during this time made sense. Southwire provided the donated water for this relief, and, in addition to other ongoing relief efforts, the CenterPoint team helped coordinate with Houston Food Bank, so that Southwire could drop off the product for the food bank to distribute.
Robert Chapman, of Utility Sales Agents of South Texas, is a Southwire representative that helped coordinate this effort.
“It is an honor to work with a company like Southwire that not only provides stellar products to their customers but also has a commitment to the humanitarian needs of people across the country,” said Chapman. “The importance of this shipment of water can’t be emphasized enough. In talking with Melina Melendez of the Houston Food Bank, she relayed that the timing was perfect as they were close to being out of water when the truck arrived. We are so thankful to Project GIFT and everyone at Southwire for your dedication to the people of Houston in their time of need.”
In addition to the water donation, Project GIFT hosted an internal monetary disaster relief collection from Feb. 22 to 26 where Southwire employees could donate to the cause. All donations that were collected will be sent to the Houston Food Bank to provide meals to the families impacted by the winter storm. Every $1 donated will provide at least ten meals to families impacted. In total, Southwire employees donated nearly $3,000 to the cause. Additionally, the company donated water and non-perishable food items directly to its local Southwire facility in Houston.
“Southwire and Project GIFT have always been there for the community and employees during times of need and, that has not changed even amid a pandemic, so it was a priority for us to give back during this difficult time,” said Blair Watkins, Southwire Project GIFT coordinator. “We are thankful to have worked with local partners that were eager to help coordinate the delivery and distribution of the supplies. It is the help from people and organizations like these that bring a glimmer of hope during the most painful times.”