The recent fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, hit especially close to home for me, as I grew up in West and still have family and friends living there. Those who know me well have heard me tell stories (probably over and over again) about working at the Czech Stop/Little Czech Bakery, learning to polka with the best of them and of my Trojan Pride marching with the West High School band on Friday nights as a majorette.
Of course as soon as the news broke, I immediately heard from my “TCS family” with well wishes, and expressions of concern wondering how they might help. Having worked at The Container Store for 16 years, I’ve been so lucky to be surrounded by positive, smart, roll-up-your-sleeves, get-it-done kind of colleagues. Great people with a lot of pride for their company – much like the folks in the tiny, central Texas town of West. So, before I could almost blink away the tears in my eyes – our team was already springing into action and ready to help in the most immediate, useful way possible.
Over the past few days we have sent trucks down to deliver product to the residents in West who are slowly recovering what is left of their homes, and to the schools that were damaged and destroyed. The Container Store partnered with our wonderful product vendors, Iris USA and Sterilite, to donate more than 2,500 storage totes. We also worked with our vendor Pratt Industries to donate more than 3,000 corrugated boxes, as well as 3M to donate 600 rolls of packing tape.
To see my sweet, wonderful colleague Vic Y. – a 20 year employee of The Container Store who drove the trucks down – greet my dear, best friend since fifth grade, Missy Sulak, was so touching – like family meeting family. And to see the gratitude of those most affected and get a hug from them was something I’ll never forget. These “boxes” were bigger than just that – they would store and protect what was left of these precious folks’ lives.
I’m so lucky to get to see our Foundation Principles and Conscious Capitalism at work every day in my job, but this generous gesture of our employees, vendors and community coming together for a town small in size but big in spirit was amazing.
I know my beloved West will rebuild into an even stronger, wonderful community. And it’s times like these at The Container Store that we become even closer and connected. I’m so fortunate to get to call both places my home.
Casey S., Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing Communications, 16 years