Sterling's Hurricane Harvey Fund

In Ashley Purnell's words:

My husband and I moved to Houston 2 years to the day the hurricane began. In the beginning of August we had just moved to our new apartment that was closer to my husband's job as he works for Fort Bend County Juvenile Probation. The rain began on last Wednesday and stopped enough on Friday for us to go to the grocery store to stock up food. We knew we would be getting a lot of rain however we did not imagine 50+ inches of rain over several days. Because of the constant rain there was no room for the other water to subside.

On Sunday afternoon the water surpassed the curbs on the surrounding streets of my apartment community and was slowly coming in through the gate toward the apartments. Around 7 pm on Sunday the water was fully moving onto the first floor of the apartments. My husband and I are on a corner unit on the first floor. So we were the first to get water to come into the apartment.Because of foundation cracks and leaks, the water was not limited to the front and patio doors. We received water from the closet, behind our refrigerator and pantry, and also from under the window in our bedroom through the carpet. Around 8:00 pm on Saturday we had about 4 inches of water throughout the house and it was growing as more rain was falling and the toilet was now leaking sewage in our bathroom adding to the water. Our cars were also stuck in the parking lot submerged in water even after efforts to move to higher ground to prevent flooding.

I contacted 911 at that time and was directed to the emergency community line where all calls were being filtered for those that needed to be evacuated. I was told that we were on the list and they would get to us as soon as they could. We waited for assistance in evacuating by staying in our bedroom on our bed. We were unable to use the bathroom and in order to walk around the house we had to wear boots.

Around 9 am on Monday, I went outside to the second floor to get a better idea of where the water was around the community. The street around the community looked like a river and finally I was able to see boats that were assisting with rescuing. I also found that all my other neighbors from the first floor had slept on the third floor breezeway that night as they were also getting water in their apartments. There were little 3 children and 5 adults total. We gathered together and were told that we would have to walk to our leasing office outside of the gates to get where the boats could reach us. We gathered the kids in a kiddie pool and grabbed our bags and walked in waist high water to the leasing office which was a block away from our building.

Once at the leasing office we loaded the families first on the boats and then left after. We were all gathered at a CVS store that was being used as central point for the National Guard. We were then loaded on a National Guard truck and transported to a Kroger parking lot where the Houston Metro buses were picking people up and taking them to different shelters. Once we got there we were approached by a gentleman who stated that his church was opening their doors to people and if we would like to go to his church. Without hesitation we said yes because we had no other place to go. He took us to Inglesia Cristo Vive Church in Houston and everyone there was awesome. They had air mattresses, food, and supplies and they had a lot of volunteers all the way down to teenagers. I don't know where we would be without them but we were able to get dry off and eat. Also they provided us a roof to sleep under and be safe. The rain finally stopped on Tuesday around 3:30 pm and the sun began to shine after 4 days of rain and gloom.

With all the things we have been through I am truly grateful of the support of Sterling.

Ashley L. Purnell

Thank you so much for your contribution to help out our fellow Sterling employee, Ashley Purnell. She has been safely evacuated, despite the flooding in her home and community.

In collaboration with our REACH team, Sterling will be matching donations up to $2,500 for any employee who is able to donate to this page.

Our goal is to get to $5,000 to help Ashley. Thank you!
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Organizer and beneficiary

Kenberly Martin 
Marietta, GA
Ashley Purnell