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Meetings Industry Groups Offer Hope and Help for Hurricane Harvey Victims

The Professional Convention Management Association and the Search Foundation are among the meetings industry groups organizing to support those in need in storm-hit areas.

Meeting and convention industry organizations around the country are galvanizing members to provide help for meetings and events industry professionals who have been affected by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in Southeastern Texas and other hard-hit areas.

The Professional Convention Management Association and the PCMA Foundation launched a Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund on August 30, which already has raised $4,925 of its $25,000 target. All donations go to those in need. PCMA President and CEO Deborah Sexton invites all to help those who are struggling in the monster storm’s aftermath. “We are committed to doing whatever it takes to help Southeastern Texas emerge from this disaster,” she added. To donate, U.S. residents can text to 41444, enter the prefix “HELPTX,” the dollar amount, and your first and last name to receive a link to complete the payment processing. Those who reside outside the U.S. can visit the PCMA Foundation’s donation page and direct their donations to the PCMA Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund by entering “HELPTX” in the “I give because” box.

The Search Foundation, founded in 1997, raises funds to help special event, meetings, and hospitality professionals faced with a life-threatening illness or any catastrophic occurrence, including the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. To learn more about the organization, visit its website; to donate via the Search Foundation, visit its donation page; to apply for assistance, visit its requesting assistance page.

The American Society of Association Executives is donating funds to the American Red Cross to help with relief efforts, and recently provided members with a list of resources that are actively engaged in providing aide in the area, including the Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, and Heart to Heart International. ASAE is also directing members to the GlobalGiving crowdfunding site, which is working to raise $2 million for food, water, and medicine to storm survivors, as well as for longer-term recovery efforts; and the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.

Destinations International (formerly Destination Marketing Association International) also is pointing community members toward donating to the American Red Cross and GlobalGiving, and offers a list of organizations that are assisting Hurricane Harvey victims, compiled in this TexasMonthly post.

Meeting Professionals International President and CEO Paul Van Deventer says, “MPI extends our deepest sympathies to all those impacted by Hurricane Harvey and especially to members of our Houston Area and Gulf States chapters. We will continue to send warm thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families in the months ahead as they work to recover from this very tragic event. If you would like to show your support with a donation, we encourage you to explore the many national and local organizations helping with relief efforts as well as the MPI Houston Disaster Relief Fund, which will provide assistance to local members in need.” 

 Are you or your organization are involved in any assistance efforts to aid the victims of Hurricane Harvey? Please share your stories and resources in the comments below, or email Sue Pelletier at [email protected] 

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