Grassroots Organization is Formed
Our story began when a collection of Keller Williams agents, owners, and staff members came together with a mission to support fellow associates in need, in the spirit of “family helping family.” KW Cares began as a grassroots effort .
KW Cares is Granted 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Status
Under the leadership of Mo Anderson, Co-Owner / Vice Chairman of Keller Williams Realty, this dream took flight when KW Cares was recognized as a non-profit organization in 2003.
Hurricane Katrina Devastates Louisiana
Our organization grew tremendously in 2005 as a direct response to the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, as the KW community came together to take care of their own. Over 500 Keller Williams associates in the Gulf States Region were lifted up from one of the worst disasters our hemisphere has witnessed. This opportunity to help others so unselfishly solidified the non-profit, with donations jumping from the thousands to over $5,000,000 in the aftermath of Katrina.
One Family’s Tragedy led to the Birth of the Miracle Ball Field
The 2011 Joplin tornado that assailed the Missouri town of barely 50,000 people left devastation everywhere, but hit the KW Family particularly hard. Will Norton, the son of KW agent Mark Norton, was tragically killed when he and his dad were driving home from Will’s high school graduation ceremony. During Mega Camp that year, attendees at Party with a Purpose raised $150,000 to help two Joplin Rotary Clubs fund The Will Norton Miracle Ball Field, a specially adapted field for children with disabilities.
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2012 | Hurricane Sandy, NY
Superstorm Sandy Sweeps the New York Tri-State Area
Hurricane Sandy, unofficially referred to as Superstorm Sandy, was the deadliest, the most destructive and the strongest hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. The devastation of the storm brought out the KW culture of caring when individuals and Market Centers joined KW Cares efforts to provide food and shelter to those battered and displaced. The storm inflicted nearly $70 billion in damage and killed 233 people across eight countries from the Caribbean to Canada.
The Ice Bucket Challenge, The Legacy of the Son of a KW Associate
Started by ALS Patient, Pat Quinn of Yonkers, NY, the challenge exploded on social media when Pete Frates and his family got involved. Pete, who lost his battle to ALS in 2019, is the son of our Vested Retired KW associate, Nancy Frates. She serves as a member of the Chairman’s Council of the National Board of Trustees for the ALS Association. Globally, the Ice Bucket Challenge raised $225 million for the ALS community and changed the way people give! Mary Tennant, a long-time KW Cares Board Member, was inspired by Nancy’s campaign and took the ice bucket challenge on the Mega Camp main stage in 2014!
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2017 | Hurricane Harvey, TX
Hurricane Harvey Wreaks Havoc in Texas
Hurricane Harvey, a devastating Category 4 hurricane, made landfall in Texas and Louisiana, causing catastrophic flooding and more than 100 deaths. In response, numerous KW Market Centers, supported by KW Cares, rallied to remediate damages suffered by their associates. During this hurricane season consisting of Maria, Irma and Harvey, volunteers assembled 5,000 relief kits for mucked out homes. Market centers and KW Cares sent 40 truckloads of supplies to the affected areas.
Historic Challenges: COVID-19 and Back-to-Back Storms
Running out of names from the English alphabet to name storms, the World Meteorological Organization resorted to names from the Greek alphabet. No fewer than four hurricanes tortured the Gulf Coast within eight weeks. The new Regional Director, Dawn Cazedessus, demonstrated her tireless leadership skills in each of these events. Her Market Centers pulled together to collect and distribute food, water, generators and other disaster relief supplies.
2021 | Port Fourchon, Louisiana
Hurricane Ida Shocks Louisiana
In 2021, KW Cares responded to Hurricane Ida, one of the largest storms in our history. For the first time in our history, the Gulf States Regional Task Force set up three Command Centers because the demand for assistance was so great. The KW Cares Crisis Line rang every 2 minutes from 7:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. for weeks while staff and volunteers worked 12- to 14-hour days. KW Cares provided approximately $3 million in support through grants, natural disaster relief, and supplies.
KW Cares Continues to Serve the KW Family
As we move forward, our goal is to expand the unique culture of caring that has such a powerful impact on not only those who receive KW Cares support, but also those who make it possible.
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