The US is aching as it begins to come to grips with the loss and damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. In times like these we can be numb or we can step up and be our best.
People want to help and companies have the opportunity to make good things happen that show their employees, and the world, they care. Here are a few ideas that I recommend managers bring to their HR departments or staff meetings:
- Match funds that employees give to help the hurricane victims.
- Sponsor a family, and together help set up a family with temporary shelter (hotels, or rooms in homes), flights to relatives, and the essentials.
- Support local relief teams.
- If your staff has specialized and needed skills, offer a team to help.
- Arrange a volunteer day to help local agencies collecting and bundling supplies.
- Donate sick or vacation time to help others or send a team to help.
And I am sure there are many more ideas based on your company and location.
I have been to New Orleans many times and have very fond memories of the place, people, and general ambiance. I hope things begin to improve for the people in the region.
One gripe - I am sick of hearing dramatic coverage about the gas prices. It will be what it will be. We should do what we can, but the gas prices are no tragedy in comparison to the pain people are suffering on the gulf coast, in Iraq, in the Tsunami region, and in many other countries torn by poverty, starvation, and war. In the end, perhaps the high gas prices will convince a few more people to toss their gas guzzlers and the world will be better off.