Rain fell and instantly froze, clinging to trees, streets and power lines. After that came the snow and constant freezing temperatures. It was unlike anything most Texans had ever lived through, and many weren’t prepared for Uri, a powerful winter storm that would ultimately cause billions of dollars in damage and claim over 200 lives across the state.
For days, millions of homes were left without power, including that of a North Texas woman who was in the process of selling her home when Uri struck.
For 36 hours, her home had no electricity. Without power, the antifreeze capabilities of her tankless hot water heater went out, causing permanent damage to a unit that was less than three years old. She didn’t know what to do, until she was reminded by a colleague that their company had given them the option to apply for an emergency financial relief grant, administered through E4E Relief.
A shortage of tankless water heaters meant she would have to wait three weeks before she could have hot water again, but a $2,000 grant from her company meant she would not have to worry about the cost, on top of dealing with a devastating storm and an impending move.
“[It’s a relief] any time you don't have to carry the financial burden of something that was already very difficult. It's just a huge blessing to be able to have that burden taken off of you,” she said.
Before long, she and her family were able to shower, do dishes and clean after surviving Uri. She was amazed at the generosity of her employer. At the same time, she felt the relief program reflected the culture of the company, which had always been good to its employees.
“[I was] shocked, but then also very not shocked because the company I work for has always come through in lots of different scenarios for me over my 12 years there,” she said. “It was just a relief that I didn't have to incur any extra costs during this time.”
Emergency financial relief gives hope
E4E Relief processed 3,750 applications related to Uri and awarded $2.7 million in grants, part of more than $200 million in grants awarded over the past five years. Those funds have helped support individuals around the world during their times of need, helping them access food, shelter and other vital resources. These grants help ease unforeseen financial burdens and allow employees to focus on what matters most: the safety and well-being of themselves and their loved ones.
Companies who choose to provide relief in the darkest of times give us hope going into the new year. Stories like this remind us of what’s possible when companies are prepared to respond the moment disaster strikes.