The helping hand of friends

As I write this, people throughout the country are dealing with crippling winter storms and need a helping hand.

My area in Texas has been hit especially hard. In the six days my stores were closed, most of my employees were without power. City water facilities experienced power failures, generator failures, and freezing equipment, resulting in the inability to have drinking water or even flush the toilet. Those with water had little pressure and remained under a boil order.

Without heat, pipes burst in many homes. Grocery stores and restaurants were closed. I know several people who were burning their wood fence planks in their fireplace for warmth and cooking. Hotels were full, but in many instances, they too were without power and water.

It’s times like these that can define who we are as an individual and as a company. Our communities and employees are hurting. Our compassionate response, or lack of it, will define the relationship we have with them from this point forward. People remember when you helped them in a time of need. For many, this is that time.

While our state and local authorities let us down, our neighbors and friends did not. People were braving the weather to give away free firewood and water. Neighbors were sharing food with those who had run out. People with the equipment to navigate ice-covered streets were offering rides to those who were stranded. Human kindness and people helping one another have been on full display. Together we are stronger.

Our industry has a lot in common with my local community. The willingness to share information and help one another is widespread. It’s one of many things I love about HFA. Being a member puts you in the neighborhood with hundreds of other retailers and industry professionals who are willing to pay forward the assistance and advice they have received over the years. HFA’s concierge program is yet another great resource. Call them with your challenge and watch the staff go to work for you.

They say that in times of crisis, you learn who your real friends are. Be that friend to someone in need. But if it’s your time to need assistance in your business, call on your neighbors at HFA.

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