Technology advancements have forever changed the way we communicate, and through social media, we’re more connected than ever. In times of crisis, this always-connected world is able to see firsthand what is happening in communities around the world that are most affected.

But technology is only a means to our connections with one another. We have an innate drive to help others in need during times of crisis. We can easily identify and empathize with those experiencing the tragedies and aftermath of a natural disaster.

As we head to Houston for Itron Utility Week, we hope you will join us in our efforts to contribute to the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast and communities in and around Houston.

  1. Build American Red Cross comfort kits with us at an Itron-hosted volunteer event at IUW.

We are partnering up with the Red Cross to build 2,500 personal hygiene kits for Houston. Why kits? More than 200,000 homes lost power, 40,000 have been evacuated to shelters and 360,000 have registered for assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The need to rebuild and return the displaced back home is still very much ongoing.

We will be packing some of the basic necessities that community members need (e.g., toothbrushes, toiletries and other personal hygiene items). If you’re attending IUW and would like to help, we welcome and encourage the extra hands. We will have four 1.5-hour shifts for 50 volunteers per session on Sunday, Oct. 15. You can sign up here or through the IUW app.

  1. Find other volunteer opportunities via VolunteerHouston.org.

There are many local and ongoing volunteer efforts that are available through the Volunteer Houston Organization website. This organization helps connect people with their passions and works with local agencies within the community to post daily, weekly and monthly opportunities based on need. You can sign-up to volunteer within the website and find an opportunity that fits your interest and schedule. Help is always needed.

  1. Don’t have time to volunteer? Make an impact with donations.

Donate to the American Red Cross by texting HARVEY to 90999 to give $10 or donate any amount via their website, give to the Greater Houston Community Foundation or use your Delta SkyMiles to support disaster relief efforts.

  1. Give blood.

Blood banks across the country have asked for donations because of the impacts of recent hurricanes. Texas hospitals experienced severe impacts of blood shortages while taking in those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. If you have time on this trip, you can visit a local blood drive or head to a donation center.

  1. Support the local economy.

Help out Houstonians by shopping, dining and playing locally. Food is at the heart of this city. Skip the chains and give to the community by exploring the local cuisine before and after the conference. Options like Treebeards, BB’s Cafe, Hubcap Grill and Public Services Wine and Whiskey are all worth a visit, to name a few.

There are also many attractions to explore, from the Space Center Houston to the robust sports culture. Two words: The Beard. The Houston Rockets will be in town on Oct. 13 and 21, and you could watch alongside some passionate fans in a local sports bar as they battle the Golden State Warriors on Oct. 17 from afar (after the IUW closing reception, of course).

We want you to enjoy your time in Houston and join our mission to give to this city hosting us. Whether you volunteer between sessions, give dollars via donations or food experiences, or walk around to discover the downtown architecture, we thank you for joining us as we work to create more resourceful communities.

 

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The Itron Team