Like so many of us, the staff members of Pannell Kerr Forester of Texas P.C. (PKF Texas), have given generously of both their time and money to help the people affected by Hurricane Katrina. For the 105 employees of the largest locally owned accounting firm in Houston, Texas, however, the affects are not just images in the media. They are personal and so is the help they are giving.
PKF Texas has donated approximately $20,000 to the Hurricane Katrina relief and employees have donated another $10,000. In addition to the firm’s fundraising efforts, Shane Garbutt, an audit senior manager, is raising funds on his own to benefit the police force in Gulfport, Mississippi where his brother is a police officer. The firm has contacted sister firm P&N of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering to provide work for the estimated 40 firm employees who lost their homes in New Orleans.
Beyond fundraising, PKF Texas staff members and their families have donated food, water and clothing in the first 48 hours after evacuees began arriving in Houston as well as countless hours of their time. Among the volunteers is Suzie Price, wife of Greg Price, Director, Consulting Solutions and Information Technology. As a Registered Nurse (RN) Mrs. Price, who attended Nursing School at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, has volunteered at the Astrodome providing medical care to members of the community where she began her career 25 years ago.
“They were so happy to be in Houston and have someone who cared about them,” said Suzie Price.
Mrs. Price’s sister was living in Slidell, Louisiana when the hurricane hit. Flooding from the storm destroyed the family’s home and they have relocated to Mrs. Price’s mother’s house in Baton Rouge. Mrs. Price’s sister has found work as a teacher while her husband commutes to the Exxon/Mobil refinery in Chalmette, Louisiana where he is a manager. The refinery is being rebuilt after the hurricane.
“Several members of the family lost their homes and place of business, but luckily no one was killed in this tragedy,” said Greg Price. “I think the untold story is the amount of damage outside of New Orleans. While New Orleans has been hit very hard, you have whole sections of the state and indeed the Gulf Coast that have been wiped out. It will take at least 5 years to return the area to some resemblance of normalcy. Some areas will never recover and will be lost forever.”