In the past month, three natural disasters have struck North America and the Caribbean, killing hundreds of people and causing property damage amounting to billions of dollars. Many people in the direct selling community, particularly those in Texas and Florida, were affected by these horrific events.
During the last week of August, Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston area, causing catastrophic floods that claimed over 70 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Nearly 50,000 homes were damaged—1,000 completely destroyed—and approximately 700 businesses were damaged.
This past weekend, Hurricane Irma roared through the Caribbean, devastating Barbuda, St. Maarten and St. Thomas, before impacting Cuba and then coming ashore as a Category 3 storm in southwestern Florida. Early reports indicate that in the Florida Keys 25 percent of buildings were destroyed and another 65 percent suffered considerable damage. Flooding and downed trees have crippled many areas of the state, and millions of Floridians are without electricity as of today. Over 60 deaths have been reported in the Virgin Islands, Florida and Georgia.
Last Thursday, an 8.1 magnitude earthquake rocked the southern coast of Mexico, just north of Juchitan. It was the most powerful earthquake to hit the country in a century, felt as far as Mexico City and Guatemala City by an estimated 50 million people. Nearly 100 fatalities have been confirmed.
As the preeminent news source for the direct selling industry, we have been eager to share the powerful stories of direct selling companies coming to the aid of the global community. The generosity of this industry is one of its most admirable aspects—one that, sadly, often goes unnoticed in the business world. Our previous articles on Sept. 1 and Sept. 7 have noted the contributions made by direct sellers through monetary and product donations as well as in fundraising efforts and on-the-ground support. We acknowledge the efforts of these companies and their continuing support of such critical organizations as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and United Way.
Yet, even as we report such news, we also cannot help but be concerned about those people in our direct selling community who call Texas, Florida and Mexico home. This includes such companies as:
It Works! – Palmetto, Florida
Jeunesse Global – Lake Mary, Florida
Monat Global – Doral, Florida
Omnilife – Zapopan, Mexico
Team National – Davie, Florida
Tupperware – Orlando, Florida
World Global Network – Miami, Florida
Zurvita – Houston, Texas
We send our condolences to those who have suffered a loss during these disasters, and we continue to pray for those who are recovering from them. Know that we are thinking of you.