INFORMS members raise thousands to help make a difference for Houston’s homeless


Ashley Smith
Public Affairs Coordinator

INFORMS members raise thousands to help make a difference for Houston’s homeless

HOUSTON, TX, October 24, 2017 – For the homeless men, women, and children of Houston still struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, a helping hand came from an unexpected source –1,000 comfort kits with essential toiletries and hygiene items assembled by the attendees of the INFORMS 2017 Annual Meeting, held in Houston, October 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 men, women, and children, to provide much needed hygiene and toiletry 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 Annual Meeting, attendees from around the world, INFORMS and Star of Hope leadership, and representatives from the INFORMS Pro Bono Analytics program, volunteered their time to help with the assembly of the kits. These kits contained items ranging from toothpaste and soap to socks and feminine hygiene products. 

“‘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,” said Melissa Moore, Executive Director of INFORMS. “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.” 

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 these nonprofits to better understand and implement their data and technology to transform more lives, strengthen more communities, and advocate more effectively. 

The 1,000 kits were presented to Star of Hope Mission to be shared with Houston’s homeless men, women, and children.


With 12,500 members from nearly 90 countries, INFORMS is the largest international association of O.R. and analytics professionals and students. INFORMS provides unique networking and learning opportunities for individual professionals, and organizations of all types and sizes, to better understand and use O.R. and analytics tools and methods to transform strategic visions and achieve better outcomes.

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