When Molly Manning Rutty of Allen, Texas heard about the devastation going on in Houston and other parts of south Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, she sprang into action to do what she could to help. Allen is about four hours northwest of Houston, and Molly has three boys (ages 7, 4 and 3) and a husband who travels most weekdays for his consulting business… but she didn’t let that slow her down.

Molly and her little helpers shopping for donations for Hurricane Harvey relief.

“I didn’t really know what I was doing. I just wanted to gather things and give them to people. I wanted to do whatever I could. My heart wanted to get on a boat and go rescue people but I have three little kids and I couldn’t do that. What I could do is help to get other people mobilized,” Molly explained.
When Hurricane Harvey first hit, Molly used her Facebook connections to raise awareness and show the devastation and need going on in Texas. Then, when her son’s elementary school partnered with a women’s organization, XPow (Exponential Power of Women), in Allen, she found a way to do more. XPow is a nonprofit that was formed by a group of women the week before Hurricane Harvey hit — the idea that if you put a group of determined women in a room together with a problem to solve, stuff is going to get done was the catalyst for XPow’s creation (sound familiar?)! The organization’s mission was to collect as many donations as possible from communities near Allen and deliver them to Trusted World, an organization that had mobilized in Dallas to distribute  supplies to Houston evacuees, and to the SPCA of Texas to help care for the many pets affected by the storm.

Molly spread the word on Facebook, and then went a step further and volunteered her home as a collection center for donations. She also reached out to people who wanted to help but lived too far away to drive donations, and preferred to support smaller nonprofits and rescue efforts. She allowed them to send money to her Paypal account, and then she and her three little helpers went to Costco, Target, and other stores to buy essential supplies. She also contacted her husband who was in Massachusetts working with a dental client during the storm, and asked him to reach out for help. In response, the dentist’s office shipped hundreds of toothbrushes, toothpaste and other dental supplies to Molly. While packing the boxes, the dental assistant said “Sometimes, just brushing your teeth can make you feel human again,” a simple sentiment that made the reality of the situation all too clear, said Molly. “People left in a rush, they couldn’t take things with them… everything is gone.” The week after Harvey hit, Molly volunteered with XPow to sort, pack, label and load the donations into seven big trucks, which were then delivered to the Trusted World Center for distribution.

In the following days, donations were still coming in so Molly joined forces with her friend and fellow R+F Consultant Amanda Davis, who was also collecting donations that she planned to to drive to Houston. As Amanda and Molly were contemplating the best option to transport the storage unit full of supplies they had collected, another pop-up nonprofit provided the answer. Operation Airdrop (OAD) is a growing group of approximately 200 General Aviation pilots from all over the U.S. that came together specifically to provide timely aid and relief to areas hardest hit along the Texas Gulf Coast. The organization has since helped in Florida, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Islands. Because many affected areas were hard to reach by car, OAD was able to deliver much-needed supplies faster, filling the gap between the hurricane and the arrival of supplies from the government and/or other organizations. The next Friday, Molly, Amanda and her husband loaded up a 26-foot trailer and two cars and delivered supplies for people and animals to airports in Addison and Fort Worth for OAD to deliver. “There was so much! Our cars were low riding all the way!” Molly laughed. In the midst of all of her volunteer efforts, Molly also had an R+F team event from which she donated a portion of her profits to nonprofit organizations supporting hurricane relief efforts.
Advice from our very first Cormany Change-maker? “Do what you can. You may not be able to fix the world but you can do what you can to be a part of the solution.” Thank you for being part of the solution, Molly!
Molly has been a Consultant with Rodan + Fields since June, 2013, and reached Level V in 2016.