Volunteering to Rebuild a Post-Harvey Houston

Hurricane Harvey hit Smartbridge’s hometown of Houston, Texas hard last year. As part of our ongoing initiative to provide engaging activities outside of the office, the Smartbridge Events Ensemble committee (SEE), coordinated volunteer efforts at Buffalo Bayou Park during spring break. The SEE committee is comprised of a small group of staff volunteers that create, plan and coordinate events focused on networking, community and fun – oftentimes all at once.

Buffalo Bayou volunteer eventAmee Nguyen, a 2018 SEE committee member, expressed that volunteering to clean up Buffalo Bayou was especially important, in light of the Hurricane Harvey aftermath. “Some parts of the park were still devastated by the hurricane and we wanted to give back to our community by helping protect something that was such an essential part of Houston,” said Amee. “We learned that Buffalo Bayou Park was just named an international park so that made it even more special to us to know that we are preserving something that is bigger than just the park as a part of Houston, but now is a part of the international community as well.”

Smartbridge volunteers helped clear out the overgrown grounds that prevent people from enjoying the park, located near downtown Houston. Matt VanDivier, another SEE committee member involved in selecting and planning this event, described the work. “In a departure from the kind of hard work typically performed at Smartbridge, employees had an opportunity to really get our hands dirty by hacking away at overgrowth, shoveling silt deposits, and leveling the banks of Buffalo Bayou. By helping to restore the beauty of a popular recreation area, we felt like we were really able to aid in the city’s post-Harvey healing process in a tangible way.”

“For me, the most enjoyable part was to see how Smartbridge’s core values were exemplified all throughout the event. There was an empathy for the residents of our city. Employees worked efficiently and effectively with one another to ensure we would succeed together,” said Matt.

Amee explains, “The best part was knowing we were working for something bigger, beyond ourselves, and doing it together. Sweat sure does make a good bonding agent.”

We look forward to more SEE events planned throughout 2018!

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