03 Oct Readers respond to Katrina Phone Project
A few weeks ago I put out the call to DEMOletter readers to raise enough money and products to send caseloads of mobile phones to the victims and volunteers of Hurricane Katrina. I’m delighted to report that the first three cases of phones are on their way to Houston, and by early this week should be in the hands of those who need them most.
The phones are being sent to Care for Elders/Sheltering Arms, a program that provides essential social services to the elderly, disabled, and disadvantaged – exactly the people who remain displaced after two terrible storms ripped through the Golf Coast. Separated from families and struggling to find adequate care and accommodations, these special victims of the storms are continuing to receive care from Care for Elders in the weeks and months ahead.
So how will these phones be used to help them? Here’s what program director Jan Edwards shared with me last week:
“We are challenged to provide service for those elders who remain in temporary shelter or permanent housing, scattered throughout the county. We plan to do case management onsite for them in a variety of settings, but we will have, I believe, similar needs for communication among the workers and volunteers, and to connect to community services and other informational resources. We can provide [mobile phones] directly to the seniors for their own ongoing use. They have been placed in different housing situations in a strange city and have many unmet needs to deal with in the long term, as well as safety concerns. There are situations and needs that are emerging as I type this and try to answer my phone, for which I am sure the donated phones will make helping possible.”
While several individuals have come forward to help in this project, one company has demonstrated outstanding generosity and compassion: AIRMEDIA. AIRMEDIA launched its application development and deployment platform for mobile entertainment at DEMOfall last week, and had acquired cases of mobile phones to demonstrate its technology to market influencers. Then, CEO and founder Don Harris decided that the phones would be put to better use in Houston, with the victims and volunteers of Huricane Katrina.
I’m tremendously grateful to Don and AIRMEDIA for this donation.
You can still contribute to the project in one of two ways:
1. Donate a mobile phone(s), with or without pre-paid service. We are collecting phones at the Guidewire Group office and plan to send a second shipment late next week.
2. Donate money to purchase phones and/or pre-paid service plans. Checks can be made to “Big Bark Publishing,” noting “Katrina Phone Project” in the memo field. Donations can be sent to the Guidewire Group office.
The address at Guidewire Group is:
Katrina Phone Project
Guidewire Group LLC
600 Townsend Street, Suite 120e
San Francisco, CA 94103
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