A Houston-based custom injection molder has teamed with MAPP to set up a GoFundMe page to help victims of the recent Hurricane Harvey.
Texas Injection Molding LLC set up the fund with the goal of raising $50,000, TIM CEO Jeff Applegate told Plastics News in a phone interview on Sept. 15, the day the fund kicked off.
TIM's physical plant was not badly affected by the storm, but many of the firm's 85 employees were hit hard through loss of their vehicles and damage to personal property.
Applegate said MAPP officials contacted him and suggested he set up the GoFundMe page. He was already coordinating numerous relief efforts but took the time to help make his employees' and neighbors' plight known to the world at large.
MAPP publicized the campaign in its latest newsletter, advising MAPP members they could go to the GoFundMe website to get linked to TIM's page, or they could contact Indianapolis-based MAPP directly.
"Due to the unprecedented damage from Hurricane Harvey and potentially [Hurricane] Irma, the MAPP staff has been called upon to share information with the MAPP network," the association said in its newsletter.
MAPP praised TIM's relief drive: "In the spirit of camaraderie and fellowship of the MAPP member network, we are forwarding this information with a link to their GoFundMe page where donations can be made."
Applegate said help is arriving from all directions.
A MAPP member in Ohio adopted a family of one of TIM's employees.
"They're taking care of bedding and clothing needs and other essentials," Applegate explained.
The member requested anonymity.
Another company, which also wanted to be nameless, has provided $5,000 in Walmart gift cards for distribution to TIM employees. And TIM's own employees who can help are helping with gift cards for Walmart, Home Depot and other retailers selling goods in short supply on the Texas Gulf Coast.
"I have made arrangements for damaged cars to get fixed, and if they aren't worth fixing, get the employees reliable transportation," Applegate added.
Many TIM employees, like most residents in the Houston area, did not have flood insurance and are grateful for the assistance. Water damage alone can cost tens of thousands of dollars to fix.
One employee returning home after a trip to California found the family's house under three feet of water. Their vehicles were damaged, and their air conditioner fell through the damaged roof. Luckily, that family had insurance.
"The needs are extraordinary," Applegate stressed. "Along with our internal efforts, others are helping, too. They say, 'Please let us help you.'"
"At first I had mixed emotions about taking assistance," Applegate said. "But who am I to turn away gifts of grace from those who want to help? I have been overwhelmed by grace."
Applegate concluded with good words for MAPP members and MAPP itself in the relief effort.
"MAPP is seeking to be a community," Applegate said. "I applaud them. This demonstration of offering help — that's special."
To donate, visit gofundme.com/txim-employees.