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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

TEXSAR: Texas Search and Rescue

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Disaster Aid, Disaster Preparedness & Relief Services, First Aid, Search & Rescue Squads

Mission: Committing to service-above-self, perpetual training, and inter-agency cooperation to maintain a constant state of readiness for search, rescue, incident response and above all else, safety.

Results: What We’ve Done: Disaster Relief (including Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Harvey, Ike, and Isaac); Central Texas Floods; Large Event Safety & Support; Missing Person Searches; Support/Rehab for Central Texas Fires; Victim Extractions and First Aid; Air Search Operations; Canine Searches; Water Searches; Shelter Operations; Community Service and Education.

Target demographics: Texans in need, when TEXSAR is deployed by the Governor of Texas; local, state and federal agencies; and relief organizations.

Geographic areas served: We work across the state of Texas

Programs: Search & Rescue; K9 Search & Recovery; Incident Management; Technical Rope Rescue; Flood and Swiftwater Rescue; Wildland Fire; Disaster Recovery & Relief; Field Rehab & Resources. Partnering Assets: Dive & Underwater Recovery; Medical Deployment.

Community Stories

44 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been with TEXSAR since it began 8 years ago. It was originally two all-volunteer Search and Rescue teams that came together with about 30 members. Since that time it has grown to over 300 volunteer members with 4 divisions throughout Texas. As the largest search and rescue team in the country, TEXSAR deploys state-wide covering 254 counties and over 265,000 square miles. Their work covers not only ground searches for lost individuals, but swift water and high water rescues, consulting with local law enforcement on missing persons, emergency management, wildland fire support, and logistical support to local, state, and federal agencies. All of this work is accomplished by dedicated individuals who not only volunteer their time, but use their own resources for training, travel, and equipment.

When there is a flood, hurricane, or a missing child, everyone says "I wish I could help". Those with Texas Search and Rescue have made it their mission to train and deploy so they can help others, even when it means using their vacation time from work or being away from their families. They never ask for thanks, but they do need your support.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Donating your time, money and energy is a sacrifice for any Non-Profit Organization.

When I joined Texas Search & Rescue, I wanted to give back to my community, expand my technical skills, and be a part of a TEAM! What I didn’t expect was that I would truly build lifetime friendships with people who truly care about you and are willing to help ANYTIME!

Search & Rescue work is NOT glamorous work; it’s hot, humid, cold, windy, muddy, tiring dangerous work…BUT I LOVE IT!

TEXSAR is an organization that will continue to grow and provide help to fellow Texans when
I’m proud to be a member of this team.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The pride and professionalism coupled with high expectations and standards attract the very best people to TEXSAR. This organization is where I park my passion where I am able to help my fellow citizens.

Client Served

Rating: 5

TEXSAR is an organization of individuals who are some of the most selfless people I have ever met. Six years ago they helped in so many ways aid authorities in the recovery of 4 of my family members lost in the Wimberley flood. We continue to support TEXSAR in serving other families and communities as they served ours. They truly put Service over Self and we are so grateful.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a fairly new TEXSAR member I am totally impressed with the dedication, training and commitment of everyone I have come into contact with. They truly live their mission every single day!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with TEXSAR for a couple months now and am very impressed with their professionalism as well as their friendliness. I have learned a great deal from their in-house trainings as well as from their affiliated professional training resources. Their steadfastness in maintaining accurate records, following procedures, and required trainings for milestones and "deployability" make this a stand-out SAR organization. Further, they're friendly! I've made many friends already within the group, even with the measures taken due to Covid. I am looking forward to serving Texas even more through TEXSAR for years to come.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The first 2 points of the TEXSAR mission statement are 1) service above self, and 2 perpetual training. I think that's what sets TEXSAR apart. There is also plenty of opportunity to take on leadership roles at all levels of the organization. I would recommend TEXSAR to anyone looking to serve their community at large.

Jeff C.7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with TEXSAR for 3 years. They truly live up to their moto of "service before self" by always being at the ready to serve their fellow Texans. TEXAR holds itself highly accountable to its donors by being fiscally responsible, to its members by always striving to be the best and to the agencies and communities that we serve by always being ready and always answering the call

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined TEXSAR a little over a year ago when looking for a way to assist others in difficult times, while cultivating activities that fill my cup and enrich my life.

I became committed to TEXSAR when I witnessed the dedication, professionalism and training that being a member embodied.

I fell in love with TEXSAR when I realized that there is something for everyone in this organization. For me, my passion is horses. When I approached the Board of Directors with my desire to start a mounted search and rescue component to TEXSAR, the idea was met with “YES!”
After months of research, reviews of other MSAR teams, and speaking with other mounted teams across the nation, TEXSAR BOD was presented and they accepted our MSAR guidelines.

TEXSAR provides the opportunity and encourages the learning of new potential life saving skills. Classes provided like Lost Person Behavior, Man Tracking, and Ground Search and Rescue, in addition to being a Critical Care Nurse and equestrian can provide the “groundwork” for me to live a purpose filled life that I strive for.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the honor of being a part of TEXSAR since the Fall of 2017. I had joined to become a part of the K9 team. However, over the past three years I have become a part of much. Our team has many different types of assets including Ground Search and Rescue, Flood and Swift Water team, Rescue Boat Operators, Recovery Dive Team and more. In addition to the many search deployments we go on, we also serve our communities in support roles working with other local organizations in various capacities as necessary. It has not only been an honor to work with my fellow teammates, but a true opportunity to serve, with deepest humility, our neighbors, our communities and fellow Texans during their times of need.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined TEXSAR a little over six years ago. It was a going concern then of about 50-70 members and I have happily watched it blossom to now over 450 members statewide. As a Senior, I had hesitated to join because I knew I wouldn’t be helpful in the field but I have stayed very busy as a (hopefully) valuable support person. At the time I joined, everyone else wanted to be in the field so they were happy to have someone taking care of the ‘paperwork’. I have enjoyed taking care of my ‘other family’ and plan to stay with them until I’m no longer able.

With our motto being Service Above Self, we are pleased that each of our members fits into that concept before they even join us: former military and law enforcement, as well as Nurses, EMTs, and Paramedics are those who want to help others and we are very happy they want to be a part of our Team!

While the members are volunteers, we are all professional trained and certified through nationally recognized entities. The caliber of talent is amazing, the dedication is amazing, the members themselves are those with whom you feel comfortable and you feel like you’ve found a lot of friends. I recommend this group to any and all who might be interested in what we do - no experience necessary; seriously, we’ll train you!

Previous Stories
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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having been a member of TEXSAR for just over a year I am constantly impressed with the dedication and professionalism of this group. Once a call for help comes in, team members are on the road for no other reason than to help make sure the person(s) lost or in danger, and their family, has as little concern as possible. Being totally volunteer, these people train, transport, and outfit themselves; the level of commitment is impressive. I feel fortunate to be a part of this group that continually looks for ways to better serve the communities of Texas.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

TEXSAR is a non-profit organization whose sole goal is to help others. Members are professionally trained and certified volunteers with skills in multiple areas that include, but are not limited to, Ground Search and Rescue, Flood and Swiftwater, and K-9. Many members are EMT's, Firefighters, or Law Enforcement. They bring with them high standards and the understanding of the importance of working as team.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined TEXSAR a few months ago. I’m an avid hiker and have some EMT experience, so search and rescue has always been an area of interest for me. TEXSAR is extremely well organized with great resources and thorough training. I’m certain this is an organization I can grow within and will have tangible skills and opportunities to help me serve my community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

TEXSAR has a lot of people who know a lot. I joined TEXSAR to give back to the community in hard times and bad times. Doing calls like Hurricanes or searching for missing people hit hard as we think it's our family. We know where to look and how to do search and rescue. Hurricanes are the hardest knowing thats the water is against you. But we push until we have completed our jobs. We have a lot of volunteers who put millions of hours into TEXSAR and continue to do so. I told all my friends and family "As a first responder my job is to save life and protect the ones in bad times. When a call goes out and I see the email I look and see what details are on it so I know who or what we are doing. A lot of our calls have gone up as the year comes to an end. But my job is to bring the lost home and save the ones who are in danger." TEXSAR also cares for the communities and the state as we all do. With more people and cars, we can get the assets to an Incident or incidents fast and deploy those who are there in those cars to their area we know what will be disaster or help search. #Texsar #TexansHelpingTexans

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I join TEXSAR 3 years ago, I’m very proud to serve with a awesome Team of Professionals, after attending my first meeting, i was impressed with the service provided by TEXSAR, and the outstanding Search & Rescue Missions during Hurricane Katrina, TEXSAR is well known throughout the state of Texas, for there call outs and successful missions, i’m very honored to serve with TEXSAR.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined TEXSAR a little over four years ago in search to find a team that was committed, professional, and highly skilled where I could really contribute and make a difference. I needed an outlet to give back and at least try to make a difference. I was tired of sitting on the side lines wishing I could do something. From my first meeting I was hooked. I feel I have surrounded myself with the best of the best. As a volunteer with TEXSAR, I've learned so many new skills, helped many people, and made some lifelong friends along the way.

TEXSAR members have a passion for helping others. I am honored to be standing beside them.

Pam S.6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of TEXSAR for 5 years. The volunteers are well trained and held to high standards of ethical, professional behavior. The management is very experienced and competent. The work done by this organization is extremely meaningful to the families of the missing, to communities in a disaster, and to the governmental agencies that call on TEXSAR for support. I am extremely proud to be associated with this organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Texsar is an amazing volunteer organization and exemplifies service above self. Texsar volunteers are dedicated members that want to help Texans in emergencies. Our volunteers put in countless hours, money, and ideas to support these efforts and it shows. Texsar has been an amazing organization to be a part of and support.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

TEXSAR is an amazing organization and does tremendous things for the citizens of Texas. I have had the privilege of working with these people and stood along side them through some extraordinary deployments. Phenomenal things are happening in the coming years.

Donor

Rating: 5

I became involved with Texsar at a fundraiser where I had the opportunity to hear first hand of the difference they make to the people and families that they serve. After hearing about the difference they make and witnessing the passion and dedication of the members I wanted to do my part to help this extraordinary team. They serve our communities with all they have, heart & soul and don’t charge anything. I’d say Texans serving Texans says it all.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

TEXSAR is an amazing organization made up of self-funded volunteer first responders. Volunteers donate their own time and money for their own equipment and training to be ready to help others during some of their most dire times of need.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When looking for a quality team of trained professionals to be a part of after i retired from Law Enforcement, i could not have been more blessed to find TEXSAR. The dedication and commitment of the leadership and members is unmatched.

Donor

Rating: 5

Texans helping Texans says it all. The people on this team give with their hearts, wallets and experience. They give in a way that is meaningful, helpful and deep. The use of every dollar is treated with care and expertise. I could not hold an organization in more high esteem than I do TEXSAR.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined TEXSAR three months ago, and have been quite impressed with the quality of people - from top to bottom, that are associated with the organization. They are dedicated to serving, to helping, and to learning and helping others. This represents the best of the best relative to being there for others.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been with this organization since it's inception and was part of the predecessor organization. The transformation to what TEXSAR is today has been outstanding. The level of dedication to the community, the team and the citizens of Texas is unparalleled. So many of these numbers give of their time and own money in quantities that far exceed any level of involvement I have ever witnessed in my nonprofit experience. First and foremost it is always about finding that survivor on a rescue or helping the family of the deceased in recoveries. The only thing the TEXSAR team doesn't do well is boast. Local law enforcement/first responders always receive the credit with TEXSAR fully backing and supporting their efforts. The TEXSAR team constantly trains and refines its skills always standing ready when the community calls needing its skill set.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Since I joined 5 years ago I have been so impressed with the dedication, selflessness, and professionalism of the members of this team. Beyond that, TEXSAR's leadership is top-notch, making sure that donated resources are utilized as effectively and responsibly as possible. I am proud to be a lifetime member, and I have been excited to bring some friends alongside me!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Texsar is always ready to be deployed on water or land. Whether its the middle of the night or during the week, our volunteers are ready for any assignment. We only deploy if asked by law enforcement and have completed numerous searches for missing people.

We have k9 teams that can search for both alive and dead people. We have white water rescue boats and wild land fire teams. Out volunteers are trained for any circumstance and are required to have national certifications prior to deployment. I am proud to be part of such a professional, dedicated team of volunteers who use their own money and time to help others.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After 32 years in the entertainment business as a stuntman for film and television, I had a strong desire to give. As the entertainment industry, in general is very self serving. My heart, interested and skills alined me with Texsar. It has and does full fill the need to give. Being a member couldn't be more rewarding. I am so very proud to volunteer as a member with Texsar.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

IMHO, the professionalism from TEXSAR is unmatched by any other all Volunteer organizations I have known. The dedication and support by all its members make it an honor to be associated with them.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

TEXSAR is an amazing group of well trained, selfless volunteers. I hope I never need their services but thank Goodness they are available. Truly a gem for Texans.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Texas Search and Rescue, TEXSAR, is a Texas non-profit with branches in Central, South, North and West Texas, Over 300 members have various certifications in ground search, mantracking, swiftwater/flood rescue and a complete package of K9 disciplines. (over 20 K9's trained or in progress)

I joined TEXSAR 2 1/2 years ago as I was seeking an active and meaningful volunteer opportunity after retirement. I found a growing organization with committed members. And I do mean committed since callouts rarely come during business hours but only at 2AM when it's cold and raining. I exaggerate of course but part of search and rescue is being ready to rapidly deploy when lives are at stake.

Members are business professionals, students, ex-military, first responders and some very very well trained SAR professionals that could write the book.

From the deserts of Big Bend, to wooded surburban areas, to flash food alley and to our hurricane ravaged coast line. TEXSAR members have been making a difference and funding their own substantial equipment and training expenses.

TEXSAR has an outstanding culture of service and members experience is enhanced by the excitement of making a difference. We appreciate your support.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

TEXSAR is an invaluable resource to public safety agencies and the citizens of Texas. At no cost to requesting departments, they respond throughout the State of Texas.

1 Gene G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a exceptional organization. Their professionalism, training and response is top notch. In the short time I have been involved with this organization I have received extensive and useful training that I can use to save lives.

1 Richard M.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was involved in hurricane Harvey recovery efforts and wanted to be more involved in the rescue side of the effort for the next storm. I heard TEXSAR was respected and doing great work, so I did some research and found them to be one of the most respected and highly trained volunteer first responder organizations in Texas. I joined recently and am looking forward to my first swift water rescue and rescue boat operator training this weekend.

1 Bo W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined TEXSAR a little over five years ago in a desperate search to find a team that was committed, professional, and highly skilled where I could really contribute and made a difference. As soon as I met this team, I knew I was in the right place. As a volunteer with TEXSAR, I've learned so many new skills, helped many people, and made some lifelong friends along the way.

TEXSAR is made up of great people who have a passion for helping others.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

TEXSAR members are all volunteers. During Hurricane Harvey, they worked tirelessly to rescue hundreds of citizens, get them to safety. When others are leaving, TEXSAR members are there to do what is needed. Amazing group of men and women.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

"It was a dark and stormy night." That would be a likely description of when a TEXSAR callout occurs. Numerous volunteers from Central, South, West and North Texas take on missions knowing they may be exposed to rough terrain, swift water or other hazards. They answer not only because they enjoy a challenge but mostly to help others that cannot help themselves. I am totally impressed by the commitment and skills of this team.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Texas Search and Rescue is professional, dedicated and absolutely amazing. It is rare to see a group of "volunteers" who are in reality professionally trained first responders. TEXSAR has raised the bar and become an integral part of the emergency plans of the great State of Texas. As a resource, this team can be relied upon for timely, dependable professional response. At no time does TEXSAR charge any fees for their service and members train and equip themselves at their own expense.

Review from Guidestar

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Attended a few of the TEXSAR meetings and have found this group committed to make a difference in Texas. This highly trained and skilled team is prepared for search and rescue, swift water rescue and wild-land fires. I am in awe at their constant desire to train so that they can be the best that they can be. They have motivated me to want to become a part of this group.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a TEXSAR member since 2008. The desire to "Make a Difference" drove me to research opportunities and I was fortunate enough to find this organization. While my opinions may be somewhat biased, I do feel that this review comes from a genuine belief of how truly outstanding the TEXSAR organization is.

The professionalism, morals and ethics with the members is without exception top notch. The dedication and commitment to serving the communities of Texas is driven by the member's passion and need to help others.

I have personally experienced multiple rescues that brought loved ones home and recoveries that have helped reach closures for grieving families. In each case TEXSAR's members have selflessly spent many hours, days and even weeks of their personal time.

TEXSAR and its educated and well trained members enable our partner organizations to call upon us to assist them to serve communities across the state of Texas.

I couldn't be more proud to be a part of such a great organization and it's members.

4 Meg_11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found Texsar 2 years ago when I was searching for a way to help those displaced by natural or manmade disasters. I found out about Texsar and began my education which included FEMA training and GSAR (Ground Search and Rescue). I have recently expanded my training with Wilderness First Aid and Swiftwater Rescue Technician. I was most impressed by the professionalism of Texsar and the high standard they set for their volunteers. I know I am always working with professionals when I am out in the fired.
I am also impressed by the heart of service evident in the volunteers. I am proud to be a part of this amazing organization. Meg Hinkley

5 Justen N.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I got involved with TEXSAR in order to fulfill my desire to serve our communities in a grassroots capacity and to sharpen my skills in the emergency management field. I quickly fell in love with the organization and people on the team because of the pure and selfless desire of our team members to serve the communities we live and work in. The work we do is not glamorous and is often physically demanding and dangerous...you volunteer to do this work because you love your community and want to make a difference in that community. That culture is reflected in the attitude of every TEXSAR Team Member and shines through every time we are deployed or participate in a community event. I am honored to serve beside these men and women who all embrace the servant's heart mentality.

6 Carolyn Appleton

Advisor

Rating: 5

When I first learned about TEXSAR, I was genuinely amazed. Since 2005, this highly-trained and motivated group of 180+ volunteers has been saving lives in the face of grave danger - in the midst hurricanes, floods and wildfires, to being in rough and remote regions of Texas where they have helped find missing persons. I had the unique opportunity to observe a search for two missing children in August, 2015. TEXSAR volunteers are well organized, attentive to detail, tightly coordinated amongst themselves, and they are sensitive to the needs of family members in crisis. I can say without hesitation, knowing TEXSAR exists makes me feel safer. I urge everyone to check out the TEXSAR website for more information and to donate.