Slideshow: Keller Williams Realty sends supplies, volunteers to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey

Keller Williams Realty employees gather at Barton Creek Square Mall on Sept. 1 to volunteer as part of the KW Cares program.

Keller Williams Realty employees gather at Barton Creek Square Mall on Sept. 1 to volunteer as part of the KW Cares program.

The Austin chapter of KW Cares, a disaster relief charity created by Keller Williams Realty to support employees and their families during emergencies, convened Friday morning at Barton Creek Square Mall before setting off to Houston to aid the Hurricane Harvey relief effort.

Five semitrucks and three U-Haul vehicles filled with supplies joined a fleet of over 60 local Keller Williams associates who will be driving to Houston this afternoon and volunteering in the area over the coming months.

Keller Williams spokesperson Darryl Frost said the real estate company has over 4,400 associates based in communities affected by the hurricane, and more than 300 employees have already reported storm damage or flooding in their homes. Beginning Saturday morning, volunteers will distribute supplies, cut drywall to clear the water and clean up what they can so fellow employees and their families can return to their homes safely, he said.

Keller Williams board Member Mary Tenant said she hopes the work of the Keller Williams team will inspire other individuals to volunteer their time and energy to help the overall recovery effort across the area.

“We will have about 500 associates from across the country volunteering at our warehouse [in Houston] waiting for us,” she said. “They’ll unload the supplies and help clean homes that have been damaged. We also have teams in Corpus Christi, Port Aransas and Rockport.”

Tenant said KW Cares was established 15 years ago to help with flooding in Louisiana, and it has provided aid after disasters ever since. KW Cares is funded through employees who donate a portion of their commissions to the program.

“It’s been a big push,” she said. “We are likely going to end up down there [in Houston] for months, so we’re lucky that Keller Williams has a huge network all across the country coming out to help, all at their own expense.”


The toll increases are higher this year, as a result of inflation increasing the consumer price index over the past year. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)
Central Texas tolling agency moves forward with 5% toll increases for 2022

The increases range from $0.02 to $0.10 per toll and will take effect Jan. 1.

ExxonMobil has held office space at Hughes Landing in The Woodlands. (Courtesy The Howard Hughes Corp.)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: ExxonMobil to bring Hughes Landing employees back to Spring location; Dave's Hot Chicken to open in Plano and more top stories

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 27.

Dripping Springs ISD hopes to speed up licensing for bus drivers by sending them to a San Antonio school district for testing. (Community Impact Staff)
Amid driver shortage, future Dripping Springs ISD bus drivers will go to San Antonio for testing to speed up licensing

Drivers have had lengthy delays getting licensed through the Texas Department of Public Safety, so they will now be tested in San Antonio.

Photo of Austin's skyline
Austin health authorities outline COVID-19 surge risks while eyeing possible shift to Stage 2

While Austin and Travis County remain under Stage 3 guidelines, hospitalizations have moved into possible Stage 2 territory.

Giselle Copa, an Austin Community College pharmacy student, prepares a COVID-19 vaccine for administration. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
At least 81% of Austin ISD staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, per district data

After the district had staff sign up for bonuses only available to fully vaccinated employees, the district can count its vaccinated employees at over 8,000.

"The Dude" is the signature burger at Lebowski's Grill. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Lebowski's Grill upends expectations in Austin; first Houston-area Costco Business Center opens in Stafford and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 26.

More than 35,000 passengers traveled through the airport on Oct. 25, the Monday following the 2021 F1 U.S. Grand Prix. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport sees busiest day ever following 2021 Formula One U.S. Grand Prix

The new record topped the previous busiest day by more than 3,000 passengers.

City, county and community leaders gathered Oct. 21 to share an update on funding of the $515 million Summit Plan aimed at housing thousands of residents. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin leaders outline $515M homelessness spending plan with more than 75% of funding in place

Officials provided an update on a $515 million plan to house thousands of people experiencing homelessness and provide related social services Oct. 21.

The Dripping Springs ISD board of trustees met Oct. 25 and discussed the possibility of approving a bonus for all district employees. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Dripping Springs ISD considers approving bonuses for all district employees

With staffing shortages persistent, the district is considering upping its annual bonus amount from last year's $500 lump sum payments.

The new Oak Hill H-E-B is scheduled to open Oct. 27. (Courtesy of H-E-B)
New Oak Hill H-E-B in Southwest Austin opening on schedule

The 90,000-square-foot space will open a mile west of the old Oak Hill store.

The plan calls for traffic control methods to make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists. (Courtesy Living Streets)
Austin City Council paves way for more play, exercise on neighborhood streets

The program aims to make it safer to use neighborhood streets for community events.