At the end of September, Hurricane Ian made landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast as a powerful Category 4 storm. By the time it crossed the state and made its way along the East Coast, including through the Carolinas, it would become the deadliest storm to hit Florida since 1935 and the costliest storm on record in the state.
In the wake of devastating storms, we focus on the individuals who are experiencing unimaginable losses and severe financial challenges as a result of disaster and are honored to be a part of the help provided to these individuals in need.
One story from those challenging weeks following Hurricane Ian is that of a woman living in the Tampa area whose experience in Hurricane Ian was compounded by an unrelated tragedy: The day Ian hit, her nephew was killed in a car accident, devastating her family during an already difficult time. In the weeks that followed, she felt the financial strain of supporting her family and unexpected funeral expenses while also recovering from the storm and the loss of food that accompanied prolonged loss of power. She found herself behind in rent and car payments. She now struggled to afford food for herself and her 1-year-old son.
Stories like this are why companies choose to offer an employee relief program: They know hardships and disasters can strike without warning, and they want to help, providing tax-free grants to help their employees during times of crisis. In her case, she knew the company where she works has an emergency financial relief program, so she applied for assistance and was awarded the funds she needed to get back on her feet quickly.
“This program has been more than helpful; it has been the light in a dark tunnel that I felt my life was spiraling down into,” she wrote in a note of thanks. “Just by simply helping my family become stable in the hard times of my adversity makes me want to cry tears of joy because I had no idea how I would have made it without the E4E Relief grant program. Thank you.”
In my role with E4E Relief, I work directly with compassionate leaders at companies that provide an array of relief programs to support employees during times of need. Every day we hear stories about how these programs connect companies with their team members in a uniquely caring way, leading to positive goodwill across organizations.
I’m in awe of the generosity of the companies we partner with and their commitment to bringing relief to their team members when it is needed the most. I look forward to continuing to work alongside them in the new year – striving to ensure organizations have the right relief in place at the right time.