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INFORMS members donate, prepare comfort kits for Houston’s homeless

INFORMS members donate, prepare comfort kits for Houston’s homelessFor the homeless men, women and children of Houston still struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, a helping hand came from an unexpected source – a thousand comfort kits with essential toiletries and hygiene items assembled by the attendees of the INFORMS 2017 Annual Meeting, held in Houston, Oct. 22-25.

INFORMS, the leading international association for analytics and operations research professionals, partnered with Star of Hope Mission, an organization dedicated to meeting the needs of Houston’s homeless, to provide much needed supplies donated by INFORMS and the Marriott Marquis Houston.

In the weeks leading up to the meeting, INFORMS members donated thousands of dollars to purchase the supplies for the kits, and throughout the four-day conference, attendees from around the world, INFORMS and Star of Hope leadership, as well as representatives from the INFORMS Pro Bono Analytics program, volunteered their time to help with the assembly of the kits. The kits, containing items ranging from toothpaste and soap to socks and feminine hygiene products, were then distributed to the city’s homeless men, women and children.

“Houston, we solve problems,” was the theme of the INFORMS Annual Meeting long before Hurricane Harvey had such a devastating impact on the people of Houston. “In the wake of the storm, our members embraced the opportunity to bring new life to this theme, and help alleviate the suffering of those most impacted by the storm,” says Melissa Moore, executive director of INFORMS.

The effort was organized as part of the INFORMS Pro Bono Analytics program, which connects nonprofit organizations working in underserved and developing communities with INFORMS members who volunteer their expertise to help nonprofits to better understand and implement their data and technology to transform more lives, strengthen more communities and advocate more effectively.

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