By Jake Clements and Thomas Graham
The ten o’clock news was bad, hard to watch even, as storms swept through central Texas dropping more rain over the course of a few hours than we’d seen in the past two years. How could we help?
Little did any of us understand the scope of what we had just put into motion, but after another 24 hours of discussion we decided to plan the event for roughly one month from that date and we’d let the other details come into focus as the planning progressed. Seemed reasonable enough …
For 34 days straight we were on a 4:00 pm conference call and every day it seemed like we were patching holes in plans from the previous day, but we wound up contributing not just money, but hope to the victims through our partnerships with the Austin Disaster Relief Network and The United Way.
At the end of the day we had a concert featuring 36 of Austin’s biggest performers representing genres from hard rock, folk, Tejano and country music play on four stages. There was no competition and no one-upmanship. Everybody came to help their fellow man. We saw roughly 6,500 people walk through the gate and we raised more than $250,000. This memorial day, we reflect upon the lives lost, the amount of damage done and the volunteers that came together to help provide comfort and support however possible.
Flood Aid Texas was an undertaking that prevailed through heart, help and generosity, much like the people it was designed to serve. So many individuals worked tirelessly to pull it off: financial sponsors of all sizes; volunteers who gave up valuable time that could have been spent on just about anything else; artists who freely gave their talents; vendors who donated goods; and, the media who helped share so many stories that motivated and inspired us all. We could not have had a seamless distribution were it not for the relief organizations who stepped in and helped.
So to all of you – a big Thank You for everything you did to make this possible. We came from far and wide to form a community, that helped even more communities.
Ultimately, to those families affected — we hope that we also provided even a tiny glimmer of hope in a dark time.