Feeding Houston- A Story About Love, Compassion, & Dedication

What have you done to help Hurricane Harvey victims?

Do you know who handles your benefits at Versa Integrity Group? If you’re not completely familiar with this person, you should get familiar. Shannon Clement is not only an amazing Benefits Administrator whose position ensures that each one of us have the insurance and related benefits that we need, and that our families need; she’s also an amazing human being that has, with her husband, taken it upon herself to cook for displaced flood victims (over 100!) for the weeks following Hurricane Harvey. In fact, she’s still doing it now! Spending nearly forty hours a week prepping, cooking, and sending food to all the flood victims in the hotels near her home. Want to know more? I bet! Keep reading below.

What started off as a way to try and help out those affected during Hurricane Harvey by making banana bread during the storm, has turned into something of a sensation around the Houston area and on the Facebook Group – Instant Pot Community. Shannon decided early on, since she was not gravely affected by the storm and flooding, that she wanted to provide aid to the individuals at local hotels who were affected. The problem – all they had available was bananas and water. That wasn’t a problem for Shannon. She set out on a whirl-wind quest to make enough banana bread to feed droves of people that were inundating the hotels and motels near her neighborhood.

As flooding victims heard about her endeavor, others asked for assistance in acquiring warm, home-made meals. One family could not eat gluten. Shannon researched how to prepare meals that were gluten-free and provided these to the family for a solid week! Another family could not eat beef. No problem for Shannon. She easily met that challenge.

This blossomed into an effort to find quick and easy-to-prepare meals on the Instant Pot Community Facebook page; as Shannon owns more than one of these wonderful pressure cookers. Upon hearing this, the community exploded with contributions to the effort; personally sending monetary donations, recipes, and food and supplies to Shannon to continue her work. In fact, an American living in South Korea saw these posts on the Facebook community and even donated via PayPal to Shannon! An amazing display of compassion and a witness to just how much support this effort has received.

“It’s the ones who are less fortunate. I call them ‘the forgotten ones’. I don’t want them to feel forgotten. Bottom line, I felt like I had to do something and thought this could have been me. I wanted to do my part to help those so close to my home. It’s no longer a labor of love but a habit. Every day I leave Versa and tell everyone that I am going home to cook for “my families” as I feel they are my family until they can go back home.” - Shannon Clement

This is what Versa Integrity Group is about. Helping those around us because it’s the right thing to do. Not backing down from a challenge, but accepting it as an opportunity to show others that good does prevail. Shannon, we want to thank you for your dedication to these families and to us. We want to thank you for showing us what it means to truly give back. If anyone would like to contribute to Shannon’s effort, please reply to this email and we get you connected with her.

Hear the stories of several people that have been positively affected by Shannon:

“I recently, like in less than a month, met Shannon through the Instant Pot community. She posted a picture of people carrying people out of the flood waters. That picture sparked in me compassion for those in need in Texas. It brings tears to my eyes even now as I think of it. I come from a line of people who see a need and meet the need, my best examples from my own dearly departed mother and my 96-year-old dad. Shannon is cut from that cloth too, she saw a need and jumped into action! In this short time we have communicated back and forth by texts, phone and Facebook/messenger. I asked her directly how to help as living in Duluth Minnesota, it was impossible for us, my husband and I to travel to help. She never directly asked so I did, how are you funded. I lost it again in tears when she said she was funding it herself and getting some limited funds. I contacted my church and was also called up to talk in church about Shannon and Texas. My church collected $300 for her to feed those in need. I/we count it a blessing to be able to help you Texas in your time of need. We love you Texas!”

Joanne and Bill Foreman

Duluth MN

I belong to an Instant Pot group on Facebook, after the hurricane I saw posts from Shannon about all the food she was cooking to help others. I contacted her and found out her house was one of a few homes saved in her area, she was sad for all the people that lost everything and wanted to step up to do something and help others less fortunate. I asked how I could help, given the fact I live in Wisconsin and cooking was out of the question I could only offer to send money and challenged other IP'ers to do the same. The hard part was how to get money to her for supplies, we finally decided I would add her account to my bill pay and send a donation that way. Well, you can imagine sending a stranger money isn't something I normally do, however, I just knew Shannon was the real deal and she and her husband were working so hard I had to help, after all, we all became Texans after that hurricane. You have a wonderful co-worker!”

Debbie Hendriks

Appleton, WI

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