As Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria approached the Gulf Coast and Caribbean Islands in the months of August and September, communities and families from Texas to Puerto Rico braced themselves for the impending storms. Among them were many friends and family of Hickok Cole employees, including a large contingency on the island of Puerto Rico. In the storms’ aftermath, the office rallied to help those affected, raising $745 in-house for Houston and the Gulf Coast, and $3,090 for Puerto Rico with industry partners Heller and Metzger, Structura, Perkins Eastman and McCullough Construction. But as long-term effects of the devastation set in, our Full Circle Committee – a grassroots volunteer group – challenged themselves to do more.
Inspired by three employees who jump-started hurricane relief fundraising and supply collections, the Committee approached owners Yolanda Cole and Mike Hickok with the idea to host a Hurricane Relief Fundraiser at this year’s Art Night. “These women inspired us to create a fundraising opportunity at Art Night,” says fundraiser organizer Lucia Tang. “They took initiative to self-organize and help communities impacted by hurricane disaster, and Full Circle is proud to support them in their efforts.” The Committee crafted a signature cocktail “A Splash of Relief,” and served them to the event’s 800 guests with a suggested donation of $10 per drink to raise funds for areas impacted by the recent hurricanes.
Proceeds from the signature cocktail totaled $1,200 and benefit the US Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, and Dominica. The funds will be distributed among the three charities below, each focused on aid in an area with a special connection to one of the three women leading the charge. Including this most recent effort, Full Circle Committee volunteers have raised over $5,000 for hurricane relief.
The Center of Disaster Philanthropy
Ellen Hearle is raising funds for The Center of Disaster Philanthropy, an organization uniquely focused on the long-term work of disaster recovery. The CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund is delivering aid for medium- and long-term rebuilding, which includes rebuilding homes, businesses, infrastructure, meeting the needs of young children, supporting mental health needs, and boosting damaged agricultural sectors.
Ellen is a designer and technologist. She is an alumni of Tulane University and previous resident of Louisiana. Her experience with hurricane impacted areas motivated her to lead the fundraising effort after Hurricane Harvey. Ellen was student project manager for the LOOP Pavilion on New Orleans’ City Park Scout Island which won an AIA Merit Award in 2014.
United for Puerto Rico
Fanny Gonzalez is raising funds for United for Puerto Rico. The First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló founded this initiative in collaboration with the private sector with the purpose of providing aid and support to those affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. 100% of the proceeds will go to helping the victims of these natural disasters in Puerto Rico.
Fanny is a Project Designer who has lent her design skills to several pro-bono projects with the Full Circle Committee. She was born and raised on the beautiful Island of Puerto Rico. After the impact of Hurricane Maria, Fanny volunteered with Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration to send supplies and funds to the island. #puertoricoselevanta #unidosforpuertorico
Dominica Hurricane Maria Relief Fund
Tiffany Woolley is raising funds for Dominica Hurricane Maria Relief Fund. The Government of Dominica set up the crowd-sourcing fund to receive donations and assist Dominica with both emergency measures and the rebuilding effort that will follow.
Tiffany is a designer whose love for people and community inspires her to share the magic of Dominica and greater Caribbean culture. She has fond memories of her mother’s homeland, where many of her relatives still reside . She credits her time in Dominica with her love of color, curiosity for the natural world, and love of community.