To the JDRF Community:
We hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend with family and friends. We are sure it was not far from everyone’s mind where we were last year at this time and how far our community has come. We think the entire country was amazed by the strength, grace and resilience demonstrated by Houstonians/Gulf Coasters through those challenging times.
We want to recognize on this first anniversary of Harvey how the Houston-Gulf Coast JDRF community pulled together with other groups last year to meet the urgent needs of families impacted by Type One Diabetes (T1D). Immediately following Harvey, JDRF joined DDRC (Diabetes Disaster Resource Coalition) along with ADA, Insulin for Life, ADE and other diabetes organizations to help provide assistance and resources throughout our region for those people living with T1D. This included the receipt of over 4,500 pounds of diabetes medical supplies and insulin, delivered to a parking lot in the middle of the night of September 1 and off-loaded by volunteers from JDRF, ADA and other organizations. These volunteers included Michael Golemi, Ernest Hunter, Bob Gabriel (all Board members of JDRF Houston), Mark and Zach Lay, and Rick Byrd. These supplies were sorted on-site and then transported to George R. Brown and NRG Shelters, Corpus Christi shelters and other local emergency response locations.
In addition, JDRF staff and volunteers mobilized a team of more than 20 individuals to make over 2,000 “wellness check” phone calls to families and individuals in our database. These calls were to ensure that those in our community had the things they needed to take care of anyone living with T1D in their household. For those that did have a need, we were able to direct them to the appropriate places to receive help.
We also worked to keep current information in front of our community through regular updates on our website, Facebook page and by utilizing volunteers to disseminate the information.
The 2017 JDRF One Walks still took place, but we made a slight change in focus and tone. We put a call out to our community to come out and join us and come together in support of one another. We clearly communicated that for those who were less affected by the storm and able to fundraise, we hoped they’d still consider doing so; but for those more directly affected and unable to focus on fundraising, we asked that they still join us. It was in part a salute to the heroic efforts of first responders and everyday citizens who pulled together to help those in need. While the total amount raised was slightly below our goal, we were delighted that thousands of supporters came together on this important day.
Now, a year later, while some of our communities and neighbors continue to recover, we acknowledge our collective efforts in the aftermath of Harvey and are again intensely focused on our mission of funding research that will help treat, prevent and one day allow us to realize our vision of a world without T1D! As we plan for our fall events, including our upcoming Rides and the 2018 JDRF One Walks, we look forward to a positive and successful event season. Thanks to everyone for all you have done and we hope to see you at one of our upcoming events.
The Board and Staff of JDRF Houston Gulf Coast