Shell Honors Heroes of Houston with National Ad Campaign

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 12/22/2017, 10:43 a.m.
Hurricane Harvey was a storm that changed us. Whether directly affected or indirectly Harvey changed Houstonians and those around the ...
Enrique and Julia Uresti

Hurricane Harvey was a storm that changed us. Whether directly affected or indirectly Harvey changed Houstonians and those around the world emotionally, mentally, and physically. Our values of what was important changed. Our concerns for our fellowman broke color lines as well as challenged our thoughts on how one person can make a difference if they just have the desire.

First responders constantly extended aid and put themselves in harm’s way to help another for which we are very grateful. I think Houstonians’ gratitude grew after we literally were working side-by-side with first responders to render aid, offer them relief, and come together as a city. And I don’t want to leave all those non-Houstonians who came from across the country or sent supplies and money to help with Harvey relief out.

Right there in the thick of it all was Shell. Being there to help is a familiar place for Shell. The oil and gas company has donated a million dollars to the American Red Cross, $250,000 to the United Way, $250,000 to the Mayor’s Hurricane Relief Fund and an additional $200,000 to local charities. Shell also matched employee donations for Harvey relief efforts, as well as throughout the year, totaling more than $24 million in 2017.

Having made monetary donations and lending their time to aid Harvey victims, Shell wanted to go further in their service to recognize area volunteers, who like them, didn’t shy away to help citizens. Through their ‘Heroes of Houston’ campaign, Shell honored the generosity of six individuals through a series of advertisements that are currently running through December 2017.

“We are humbled by the selflessness and courage these heroes showed during Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, and it is our pleasure to recognize them for their acts of service,” said Bruce Culpepper, Shell Oil Company President. “The collaboration we’ve seen among individuals, charities and the businesses that call Houston home has been greatly inspiring.”

Enrique and Julia Uresti were blessed in the wake of Hurricane Harvey as they did not receive any damage to their home. But they knew they had not been spared just to sit at home so they immediately got to work to see what they could do to help their neighbors at the BakerRipley House.

Enrique would finish a hard day at work and then meet his wife Julia at BakerRipley. Enrique’s job was to prepared and delivered donation bags directly to people waiting in cars, and was instrumental in moving donations, as many who were seeking help were physically unable. While Julia welcomed people as they arrived at the center and helped them fill out the necessary paperwork. She also helped individuals determine what they needed and how the center could serve those needs.

We’re so proud of our community,” said the Uresties. “Whether it’s helping with Cancer Awareness month or hurricane relief efforts, we try to provide a friendly smile and be a glimmer of hope during dark, confusing and sad times.”

BakerRipley nominated the Uresti family for their overwhelming support of the center over the years. 2017 marks their fourth year of volunteering at Baker Ripley. “We do this for the community. We know that the center needs a lot of help. We have the time and want to do something with it, something good,” the couple said.

Though they provided much needed comfort and emotional support to those who they assisted, the Uresti felt as if they received something as well through their service. Because they had to do a lot of listening to effectively communicate, the pair feels that their communication as a couple was heightened. Their ability to listen is just one of the reasons Baker Ripley representatives nominated them for such a distinguished honor.

“We enjoy helping others, so we will keep going and volunteering,” Julia said. “We will continue to help, I love this. I love to help.”