Samsung & Habitat for Humanity: A Look Back on Hurricane Harvey
One year ago, Hurricane Harvey struck the Gulf Coast of Texas, leaving thousands of Houston-area residents displaced and unsheltered. Among those impacted was Eugenia Roberson, her sister Gloria Taylor and their neighbors in the Settegast neighborhood, a Northeast Houston community hit especially hard by Harvey’s 60 inches of rain.
As part of the aftermath, their homes were devastated and they were forced to relocate for months on end. Even when the flood waters subsided, Settegast’s narrow streets became nearly impassable as flood-soaked carpet, sheetrock, insulation, furniture and other belongings lined the curbs, further delaying relief and threatening public health and safety.
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Samsung announced a collective pledge of $1 million for disaster relief. Portions of Samsung’s donation funded charging stations to those without power, laptops to those filing property damage reports, and mobile devices to local elementary schools without resources. In conjunction with Houston Habitat for Humanity, Samsung pledged to donate 40 in-kind home appliance bundles, each including a brand-new microwave, stove, refrigerator and laundry machine.
The appliances were used to furnish the homes in Settegast repaired by Houston Habitat as part of the extensive reconstruction processes. Many of these families – Mrs. Roberson’s and Mrs. Taylor’s included – did not have the funds to replace the home appliances that Harvey had damaged beyond repair.
“Samsung’s culture of giving is meant to support these communities by providing the tools and resources to thrive for years to come,” said Ann Woo, Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship for Samsung Electronics America. “We would do this for our own families and friends, so we did the same for these people who had waited months to return home.”
“It is hard to believe a year has passed since Hurricane Harvey decimated our community, and that the families of the homes that Houston Habitat restored are now able to reflect on what they have overcome,” said Angela Cox, Development Director at Houston Habitat for Humanity. “We are so grateful to Samsung, not only for empowering us to provide repairs and to replace damaged appliances, but also for exceeding homeowners’ expectations with appliances that are even better than their original sets.”
Today, Mrs. Roberson and Mrs. Taylor are back in their homes. Mrs. Taylor is preparing to host her family’s annual Labor Day celebration. “If not for Habitat, I never could have gotten back in my house,” she said. While she couldn’t replace what was lost herself, she said Samsung gave her more. “God will always give you bread, but sometimes he gives you a little peanut butter and jelly, too. That’s what Samsung’s gift is to me.”