Generally, when people hear of disasters in far-away places, such as the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas this past fall, they have a desire to help, but often don’t know how. Sometimes that desire begets a brilliant idea, and when that idea falls into the hands of the right person, it becomes reality. DataCeutics CEO Matthew Ferdock heard of such a story from his brother, Dave.
Dave Ferdock teaches Sixth Grade Social Studies at Saint Columba, a wonderful, small, private Elementary School in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. This past September, his students were excitedly returning to school and sharing tales of adventures enjoyed during their summer vacations. Sadly, fifteen hundred miles away, the students of the Houston School District, many of them now homeless, were still reeling from Hurricane Harvey, the Category 4 storm that hit Texas with a vengeance on August 25th. This devastating storm made landfall three times in the course of six days, causing over 80 deaths and an estimated $125 billion in damages, according to NOAA, the National Hurricane Center. Kimberly Amado writes in The Balance: “At its peak on September 1, 2017, one-third of Houston was underwater. Two feet of rain fell in the first 24 hours. Flooding forced 39,000 people out of their homes and into shelters.” And 75 Houston schools had to be closed due to flood damage!
When Mr. Ferdock heard a comment by one of the other teachers, that as a school, they really “should do something for the displaced students of Houston,” he immediately got to work. Notes were sent home with the 100 or so students of Saint Columba, asking for donations of school supplies. Almost instantly, gifts started pouring in. Backpacks and oodles of crayons, glue, rulers, erasers, pens, pencils…even white-out, started piling up in the back of Mr. Ferdock’s classroom, and spilled out into other areas of the school.
“I could hardly believe the generosity of these kids and their parents,” Dave Ferdock says. “It was overwhelming that such kindness by so many, was shown to people our students didn’t even know.” He continued, "Altogether, fifty backpacks were collected and filled with a myriad of school necessities."
After having fun taking photos…even forming an “H” for Houston in one of the pictures, the eighth graders packed a total of 10 large boxes of supplies. When Matthew Ferdock heard of his brother’s mission, he was happy to offer his help.
As a company, DataCeutics has a long history of participating in philanthropic activities. In fact, there is a whole section on the DataCeutic website devoted to encouraging employees to get involved by posting this strong mission statement:
DataCeutics' leadership feels that happy workers do great programming. We encourage our employees to participate in charity work and social groups that give them a sense of belonging, as well as providing a better life for others. It's part of keeping our employees happy.
Traditionally, each year at the company Holiday party, the DataCeutics staff members participate in some sort of charity project in conjunction with World Vision International, a humanitarian aid, development and advocacy organization. Not surprisingly, this year’s recipients of their kindness were Houston students. Boxes of backpacks were filled in an assembly line with school supplies at the Holiday party, and shipped out to Southern Texas.
So naturally, when DataCeutics leaders heard of the Saint Columba project, they happily offered to pay for shipping the donations to the Houston school children.
What a great reminder to all of us to step-up and offer help whenever possible. Even small acts of kindnesses can add up to making a big difference for those in need.
You may read more about DataCeutics’ “Get Involved; Be a Part of Our Mission” projects here.