After Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, Leah Halbina reached out to friends in the Houston area to see how she could help. When she found out about Sketch City, an open, nonprofit community of technology advocates and civic hackers that used technology to organize rescue efforts, help victims locate their nearest shelter and satisfy other pressing needs, she jumped in to help. Shortly after, Leah had to use the same technology in her home state of Florida as Hurricane Irma approached and made landfall.
At age 12, she was the voice of Nala in Disney’s “The Lion King” movie. Since then, she has appeared on Broadway, in TV shows, stage plays and commercials. But Niketa Calame-Harris found that developing a chronic illness – in her case, Type 1 diabetes – came without a script.
When Ronnie Devries realized how many Houston residents were in need following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, he knew he could help. With experience as the volunteer coordinator, Ronnie helped create a makeshift command center at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center – which quickly became a shelter for thousands of residents displaced by the storm. Working overnight, he helped set up a system for volunteer coordination to ensure volunteers were matched with all aspects of shelter operations.