HOUSTON — A team of human resources (HR) directors from Student Transportation of America (STA) spent a day here helping to clean up the mess left by Hurricane Harvey.
On Oct. 10, a dozen STA volunteers from across the U.S. and Canada picked up debris in a Houston neighborhood that was flooded by the massive storm in late August. Jay Kirkman, STA’s HR director for the central region, organized the effort in conjunction with a quarterly meeting of the company’s HR professionals.
The STA volunteers worked with the Houston Mayor’s Citizens Assistance Office for the cleanup, and the mayor himself recognized them and presented them with certificates of appreciation at City Hall.
“Thank you for working with the Mayor’s Citizens Assistance Office in coordinating and identifying Houstonians who still need critical assistance and help,” Mayor Sylvester Turner wrote in a letter to the STA team. “Your dedication to improving the quality of life for those adversely [affected] is so greatly appreciated.” The 12 STA volunteers represented California, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, South Carolina, New Jersey, Texas, and Canada. The company has a school bus terminal outside of the Houston metro area, in Fort Bend County.
Kirkman, whose region includes Texas, noted that local STA employees suffered damage to their homes and vehicles during Hurricane Harvey.
“While STA did a hurricane relief fundraising at all of its terminals, and STA provided direct aid and financial assistance to the Fort Bend employees, there was still a desire to reach outside our employee family to the local community and affected neighborhoods,” said Kirkman, who also has a personal tie to the project: His late mother’s family had been native Houstonians for more than 125 years.
“There was a real connection to the city, neighborhoods, and even friends affected by the hurricane,” he said.