Feature Stories

2,000 Miles Away: We've Got Your Backs
Manheim Seattle and Manheim Portland team up for Hurricane Harvey relief.

On Tuesday, August 29, before Hurricane Harvey drenched Houston and the surrounding area, Manheim Seattle raised more than $32,000 in a fundraiser benefitting the American Red Cross. “The timing was pure luck,” said Greg Milam, general manager, Manheim Seattle – and a poignant precursor of events to come.

Days later, Harvey hit, and after speaking with a colleague at Manheim Texas Hobby who said conditions were far worse than the images shown on television, Milam knew he had to rally support for his fellow team members in Houston.

“I wanted to let our Cox team know that we’ve got their back – that we’ll do everything we can to help them and their families,” said Milam.

With assistance from countless Manheim volunteers in both Seattle and Portland, as well as KIRO, a Cox-owned TV station in Seattle, word quickly spread that they were collecting money and supplies to help Cox families affected by Harvey. What’s more, Verne Cysensky, maintenance supervisor, Manheim Seattle, immediately stepped forward to transport the donations to Houston – a 35-hour drive.

Cash donations and supplies poured in, and Enterprise – a Manheim client –supplied the trucks to deliver it all, which included non-perishable food, baby items, first-aid supplies, batteries, personal hygiene products, pet food, laundry detergent and bottled water. There were even stuffed animals and small toys donated to comfort the youngest victims and an entire pallet of soup.

“I was hoping we’d fill one box truck, but between Seattle, Portland, and even Denver, we collected enough to fill two, 26-foot trucks,” said Milam. “The entire effort had such a quick velocity, which allowed us to send supplies when folks need them the most. The fact that all our efforts are going to Cox families makes it all the more heartwarming.”

The trucks, driven by Cysensky, Darius Taylor, lot operations manager, Manheim Seattle, along with Brent Wundrow, ops manager, and Joss Greene, husband of Devin Greene, client solutions executive, of Manheim Portland, rolled into Manheim San Antonio on Wednesday, September 6.

“Community giving and service are indigenous to Cox,” said Milam. “Our team saw a need and mobilized our tools and resources to assist. We were all honored to be in a position to help.”

This is just one of many heroic stories coming from the Cox Automotive family in support of Hurricane Harvey victims. Read more here