USA Today, October 7, 2005:
Raseen Ward is a single mother from New Orleans who lost everything to Hurricane Katrina except the clothes she and her daughter were wearing as they fled their home. Less than a month later, Vicky Fuselierâ€™s home in Lake Charles was severely damaged by Hurricane Rita. Raseen and her daughter have been living with a Houston-area family. Vicky and seven family members are sharing one room in an Arkansas motel. Like thousands of others, Raseen and Vicky fear that even rebuilding might not bring back the people, the jobs and the vibrancy that were once keystones of life along the Gulf Coast.
But there is one glimmer of hope that has helped ease some of the burden for Raseen and Vicky â€“ both are Mary Kay independent salesforce members, and the income they receive helps support their families and provides them with feelings of achievement unmatched by anything else theyâ€™ve ever done.
Soon after the hurricanes hit, both women found out that rebuilding their Mary Kay businesses from scratch wasnâ€™t something theyâ€™d have to worry about â€“ the company was providing each with a new business kit, $500 of free products and guaranteed commissions through the end of the year. They would immediately be able to restart their businesses from their temporary homes. Their lives were already starting to be pulled back together.
Mary Kay estimates it will spend more than $8 million helping people like Raseen and Vicky recover from these monumental disasters. And the company is not alone. In the wake of Katrina and Rita, direct sellers across the country found the support they received from the companies for which they independently sell to be the cornerstone they used to start their lives over.