Within 24 hours of the deadly fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas almost 2 years ago, Cisco’s Community Relations team had already committed to help residents impacted by the devastation and contacted me in Cisco’s Richardson office.
Within another month, we decided to partner with Waco Habitat for Humanity to rebuild a family home, and to send Richardson employees to volunteer. After a lengthy application and vetting process, the new homeowner was selected and groundbreaking for the new home was scheduled for Friday, November 7.
Although I have been involved with various Habitat organizations for many years, I’ve never had the opportunity to attend a groundbreaking ceremony. I attended with 10 other employees, and we were all moved as we listened to the story of homeowner Gloria Alamos, who explained how the only home that she and her family had known for more than 30 years was destroyed by the explosion.
Although her family wanted to rebuild, the man who owned the land wouldn’t let them, so they were left homeless with only their memories. But thanks to Habitat and Cisco, Gloria and her daughter will be living in a new house right behind the home she grew up in. Soon after Gloria’s comments and the official groundbreaking, Cisco employees and other volunteers were literally raising the walls of this beautiful new home.
“It feels great to work with my Cisco friends — new Cisco friends, since I knew none of them before — and truly amazing to give back to the community,” said employee volunteer Dan Weaver.
Cisco’s relationship with Habitat for Humanity dates back to the 1990s, and has included participation not only in employee volunteerism through builds, but also through cash grants and vendor partnerships. Since 1998 Cisco has partnered with Habitat affiliates in 111 U.S. cities and 52 international locations. Cisco and Habitat for Humanity share a mutual focus to provide shelter and disaster relief to save lives and restore communities.
Cisco employees will continue to volunteer in West, Texas until the home is ready for the next big event…dedication.
Learn more about how Cisco employees support their communities at csr.cisco.com.