Web Hosting Community Rallies around New Orleans - Special Efforts
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It isn’t just American web hosting companies that are answering the call. Canadian web hosting firm Big Host and Snowball Media and Design helped to finance a fundraising benefit to generate support for the victims of Katrina. The event is scheduled for September 22 in Edmonton, Alberta. Appropriately enough for a fundraiser to benefit the city that is synonymous with Mardi Gras, it will be a Black and Beads Mardi Gras Ball and Silent Auction; there will also be a Mardi Gras Party and Parade as part of the event.
Interland has been encouraging visitors to its site to donate to the American Red Cross relief effort. It has also been working closely with customers involved in using the Internet to provide help, such as GulfCoastNews, which maintains an interactive database to help Katrina victims and their families find each other. The database contains information on nearly 60,000 people. “Being able to use our expertise in online technology to help reunite families is the least we can do and we are happy to make the contribution,” said Jeff Stibel, CEO of Interland.
Verio is hosting, for free, the KatrinaHousing.org website, which is designed to centralize and organize volunteer and housing efforts for survivors of Katrina. It is a place where people can log in and post offers of vacant rooms, apartments, houses or other housing options that they are willing to donate to Katrina victims. The site has seen more than 138,000 offers of free temporary housing, and 4,100 Katrina survivors, as of September 13, have been placed.
Hosting.com provided extra bandwidth at no charge for sites such as the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center and others that saw a sudden spike in their traffic in the days after the hurricane hit as people looked for information. The company has also helped one of its clients collect donations to provide potable water to families still in the Gulf Coast region.
The Web Hosts Unite program (http://www.webhostsunite.com/) is a web hosting industry group supporting the victims of Hurricane Katrina. All funds are donated directly to the American Red Cross. Uplinkearth is hosting the site for free.
America United (http://americaunited.com/) is a site designed to help bring together aid from those who can help hurricane victims. The site was built by GOTWWW, with technical resources provided by HomeSurf USA and NetFronts. The site provides three services. First, the People Connector database enables hurricane victims to connect with missing family and friends. Second, Housing Connector helps connect people who have housing with hurricane survivors needing shelter. Finally, the site allows visitors to donate to various Katrina relief organizations.
This list is hardly exhaustive. I had to leave out literally pages of information I had collected about various hosting companies rolling up their sleeves and pitching in with whatever resources they could. Perhaps this list has provided you with a few ideas about how you and your company can help with the relief effort.
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