This month, we caught up with Tim Killian, Territory Manager of sales, western region at EMPLOYERS®, to discuss his recent community service efforts.
In the days following Hurricane Harvey, which devastated the Texas Gulf Coast, Tim and a few friends caravanned from their homes in Dallas to Houston to assist in rescue efforts. The Houston area was in such a state of emergency that Tim’s group was directed to three different cities before arriving in Port Arthur. There, they found a volunteer command unit, set up in a mall parking lot, that was coordinating efforts for a couple hundred volunteers. Equipped with a boat, car and RV, over the next few days, Tim and his friends retrieved personal belongings for displaced residents and brought food, water and other supplies to those in need.
What prompted you to help with the search and rescue efforts in Texas following Hurricane Harvey?
In Texas, we tend to roll up our sleeves and try to help people when we can. When the hurricane hit, there was a desperate need for help. Even before the government could mobilize, volunteers were there helping. There would have been a lot more loss if there hadn’t been the volunteers.
What was the most impactful moment of the experience for you?
The most impactful moment was when a lady embraced me harder than I expected and said, “you have no idea how much I needed a hug.” During a time of crisis, you hug people a lot, but it is with a different type of emotion than a normal hug. The desperation, strength and gratitude I felt from that woman was something I will never forget.
What did it look like to see the flooding and the rescue efforts?
My wife and I were married in Hawaii a long time ago. I remember when I first stepped off the plane in Hawaii and saw the landscape. The beauty of it swept me away and to this day is something I’ll never forget. Seeing the devastation in the Houston area was similar to that. You can’t take a picture that will ever replace what you are seeing and feeling in that moment.
Would you consider doing this again, if there was a need?
Absolutely. If I could find a way to make a living from it, I would jump on it. There is nothing more important than keeping people safe and being there in their time of need. If what I did can help inspire someone else to do good, then it’s worth it.
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