On August 26, 2017, Hurricane Harvey began to make landfall on Southeastern Texas. For days, Houston and the surrounding communities were devastated with torrential rain, upwards of 30 inches in parts – major flooding, wind gusts up to 132 mph, massive destruction of property and the loss of 70 lives.
At 16, Javier Placer, CEO of Stand Up Paddle Colorado, lived in Miami and experienced the devastation of Hurricane Andrew first hand. With sustained winds of 165 mph, the hurricane destroyed more than 63,500 homes and caused $26.5 billion in damage. This historical moment is forever ingrained in Javier’s memory.
“I remember how barren Miami was. Boulevards once lined with palm trees were empty. It took a long time to rebuild after the hurricane, years.” He lived through the experience and helped rebuild his home and community. This rebuilding inspired Paddle for Houston.
In an effort to help rebuild Houston, Stand Up Paddle Colorado dedicated September 3rd as Paddle For Houston. All of the proceeds from rentals at our Nottingham Lake and Lake Dillon locations went to an organization to assist those devastated by Harvey. Being that it was Labor Day weekend, the “end of summer”, we weren’t sure what to expect. But, in the end, we were absolutely mesmerized by the incredible outpouring of community support.
Not only did the Avon Recreation Department join us in contributing their proceeds, but there were also hundreds of people who supported Paddle for Houston by renting equipment. Javier noted, “We were blown away by peoples generosity and sharing during the event we hosted. People came out and they gave more than the rental fees.” In total, with the help of the community, we raised $9,589. Thank You!
We are donating 100% of the proceeds to All Hands Volunteers, an organization near and dear to the SUPCO family.
“All Hands Volunteers is a US-based, 501(c)3 non-profit organization that addresses the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disasters by engaging and leveraging volunteers, partner organizations and local communities. Our vision is to demonstrate the power and value of volunteer service through the tangible work done, the hope it brings to suffering communities and the transformative experiences it provides for volunteers.”
Javier stated, “Now that the storm has passed and the waters receded, we have to make sure the money is being appropriated equally and even the disenfranchised are able to get help and funds needed to rebuild their American dream. We have history with All Hands and some of our owners and employees donated time, labor and resources to the Haiti Earthquake and hurricane Sandy relief effort.” After the powerful 7.0 earthquake leveled Haiti in 2010, SUPCO business partner Scotty Stoughton flew to Haiti and volunteered for All Hands for two weeks. Scotty’s positive experience in Haiti, and with the organization, was inspiring to us all. Along with the donation, Scotty will be volunteering his time with All Hands in Houston to help the rebuilding efforts.
We couldn’t have done it without all of the incredible people who came to the event. We THANK YOU for your extra efforts, which will be tremendous for Houston.
While we didn’t have any idea Hurricane Irma was right behind Harvey, there is now more need to help rebuild. Please, consider donating to Helping Hands in their effort to help US Hurricane Relief. And, if possible, volunteer with the organization and help rebuild lives and communities devastated by the hurricanes.