This is a contributed post by TI Technical Sales Associate, Nicholas DiNino.
On Saturday, January 9th, I had the privilege to volunteer with a group of my Texas Instruments peers to aid the relief efforts in North Texas in response to the recent tornado devastation. This was an incredible experience that reminded me how uplifting one’s time and thoughts can be to another person. Our TI group was connected with Operation Blessing by Donna Duren, TI American Sales Operations Executive Admin. We met with the disaster relief organization at the Granger Recreation Center in Garland, Texas, where we received a brief orientation before splitting into teams and driving to disaster sites in Garland and Rowlett. Once at the sites, we spent from 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. clearing debris and cleaning three different properties.
The weather was cold and wet, and the ground was extremely muddy. In spite of the conditions, all thirty of the TI volunteers were cheerful and positive, grateful to demonstrate TI’s dedication to the community and helping others. The service opportunity brought together TIers with a wide range of backgrounds and volunteer experience. The group included members of TI’s Welcome Wagon volunteering organization, TSAs, individual contributors from Americas Sales Operations, and some of their families. We enjoyed working alongside new TI friends as well as other volunteer groups and private citizens giving their time to the relief efforts. It was truly amazing to see how many people stand by their neighbors in a time of need, offering everything from labor to meals.
Overall, TIers found the experience of helping homeowners mitigate the massive burden of clean up to be very gratifying. One of the houses we worked on in Garland had a backyard buried in debris, including rooftops, wood, metal, and large branches. At this residence, our TI team worked tirelessly alongside the homeowner, who informed us he was inside his house when the tornado struck. The garage had collapsed, large holes were made in the roof, and debris was thrown through some of the walls. The homeowner was amazed by the huge impact our team made in such a short time. He was extremely grateful, acknowledging that it would have been impossible to do the work without our help.
We were honored to volunteer, specifically as this disaster is so close to home. Please note there is plenty of work left to be done. Each hour of service helps tornado victims move towards a new beginning.