Rebuild Texas Fund Offers Long Term Help After Harvey

Like many of you, I was overwhelmed at the scenes of devastation from Hurricane Harvey, and deeply moved by the thoughtful action we’ve seen from so many Texans, including many Rackers, who’ve given time, hard labor, money, supplies — even blood.

Other Rackers were directly harmed by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and my heart goes out to them. We have 24 Rackers living in areas hit by Harvey. They are safe, and we have reached out to them to see if they need any assistance with cleanup or rebuilding. Another 28 Rackers live in areas slammed by Irma — and we know at least one has lost nearly everything. Completely unsurprisingly, Rackers have rallied around her, raising nearly $10,000 in the first 30 hours.

As a relatively new Racker, it has been incredible for me to see how deeply Rackers take “Rack Gives Back” to heart. Hundreds of Rackers have volunteered, contributing more than 1,500 hours and counting at organizations across south Texas in support of relief efforts. They’ve donated more than 150 units of blood at onsite drives, and many more at offsite clinics. They’ve organized supply drives and delivered to individuals and organizations in flood-ravaged areas more than 10,000 diapers, pallets of bottled water, hygiene supplies and more.

Rackspace has supported local Red Cross shelters through donated hardware. We donated space to San Antonio Pets Alive to conduct a telethon fundraiser to support almost 200 rescued animals. And we are continuously working to assess opportunities and requests for ways we can continue to serve our neighbors in need.

Today, I’m happy to announce that Rackspace, as a company, is adding to our Rackers’ generosity by donating $100,000 to the Rebuild Texas Fund. We chose Rebuild Texas for a couple of reasons: Texas is home to our headquarters, most of our Rackers and many of our customers. Our support for Rebuild Texas helps our friends and neighbors begin to rebuild — not just today, but over the long weeks and months to come. Also, importantly, 100 percent of donations will go directly to programs supporting relief efforts; the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation will cover the cost of administration.

The Rebuild Texas Fund provides:

  • A flexible structure through the OneStar Foundation to coordinate large sums of charitable donations;
  • Clear line of sight, through coordination with Governor Abbott’s office, to recipients of state and federal aid, to reduce duplication of effort; and
  • A minimum one- to three-year giving horizon, to ensure that charitable dollars are available not just for relief but also for longer-term recovery and rebuilding.

Rebuild Texas will work directly with partners and providers in the affected regions to put the money to use to stabilize families and communities, with early focus on:

  • Health and housing
  • Schools and childcare
  • Workforce support and transportation
  • Capital for small businesses

Rebuild Texas will employ a dedicated team of program experts, and will provide detailed and transparent reporting on use of the fund’s resources and impact on the ground. If you’d like to learn more about the Rebuild Texas Fund, or to donate, visit rebuildtx.org.

Joe Eazor is CEO of Rackspace, responsible for the company’s strategy and operations. He has deep experience running everything from startups to huge divisions of global enterprises, and has a strong track record of delivering value to customers, employees and investors. Joe comes to Rackspace from EarthLink where he served as CEO from 2014 until he led the sale of the company in 2017. Under his leadership, EarthLink was transformed from a pioneer of early dial-up Internet service into a profitable cloud networking business, investing in new products and exceptional customer service. In 2016, Forbes named EarthLink one of the 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America. Prior to leading EarthLink, Joe served as a top executive at EMC, HP and EDS, where he gained leadership experience across strategy, customer support, product development, international operations, global sales and marketing, M&A and business process outsourcing. He earned his bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering at the Colorado School of Mines and holds an MBA from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business.

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