TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) In the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s devastation, Keller Williams Real Estate cancelled their international conference to head to Texas and help with relief efforts directly.
The annual MEGA camp conference was slated to be held in Houston, but after Harvey their priorities shifted.
"The leadership of our company got together and we decided it was time we do our share, too. So it was a very humbling experience, it was something I’ll never forget," said Tonya Backus the operating principal for the Twin Falls branch.
The CEO and owners of Keller Williams had two weeks to change the itinerary from a conference to a full on relief effort of 3,800 volunteers.
Realtors alike came together and spent their days helping with construction and house restoration, post-flood clean-up, warehouse stocking, truck loading, cooking, food preparation and more.
Titles within the company were forgotten, as the bigger picture was helping those in need not how long you’ve been in the real estate business.
"No matter what the need was. If they needed to pick up a moldy piece of carpet or tear out moldy drywall they had no problem just getting down to work and going and doing it," said team leader Chad DeBie.
The influx of volunteers had FEMA in awe as they accomplished so much on their first day that new jobs and tasks had to be created, since so much was actually being accomplished.
The volunteers not only helped FEMA but homeowners, as most, were lost in where to begin the rebuilding of their lives.
"I had some men approach me and ask if they could pray for my family and myself for being there to help. But yet they're the ones that actually needed the help. It was really touching to think that they wanted to give something back to us and the only thing they could do was pray for our families," Backus said.
The coordinators made a wide array of jobs available so everyone felt included in making a difference.