As Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast, no one could anticipate the amount of damage that would lay in its wake. The city of Houston literally sank. With widespread and unprecedented flooding, economic analysts are anticipating damage totals to close in around $200 billion. On a human scale, the damage is heart-wrenching. The death toll is currently sitting at 60. Millions are displaced, likely to not be able to go home for months – some permanently. People’s lives are completely ruined and many will have to start from scratch. But with all of the pain and suffering, there was a shining light through this storm. Humanity rallied to aid those affected – lining for blocks to volunteer and help. Leading the way was our nation’s first responders. Courageous men and women from across the country have banded together to help save those affected by the powerful storm. Reports are coming forth from South Texas that show the full scope of their heroic efforts but what is not reported is the help they need. The State Firefighters’ and Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas reported that many firefighters suffered major losses in the disaster. It’s estimated that 80 percent of firefighters in one department have lost their homes. And this is where Chive Nation comes in. Last year we launched our inaugural CHIVEK, a virtual 5K fundraiser run in which everyone pledged to run, walk, bike or crawl 3.1 miles for the underdogs. By pledging $30 or $60 and then raising money online via friends and family, over $125,000 was raised for Chive Charities. This year, we are still raising money for Chive Charities, but funds from this year’s CHIVEK will go directly to first responder hurricane relief efforts. Chive Charities has a strong history of helping first responders. The very first flash campaign helped a volunteer rescue squad in Fluvanna County, VA. Billy Wynne’s story captured the attention of America. Stacy Burke, head of our Oklahoma chapter, said it best: "I was at home in tears because I felt like we should have helped sooner. I wanted that to never happen again. That was the moment I knew I would forever find myself associated with Chive Charities and Chive Nation. This hit my heart like a ton of bricks because every time I fly the skies, that could be me. When disaster or sickness happens, our Chive community meets needs without question. We raised over $235,000 dollars for him and his family." So this year, we have dedicated all funds raised for the CHIVEK towards first responders and their hurricane relief efforts.