Globecomm Partners With Christian Ministry To Help Wildfire Victims
[12-3-07 – Satellite News] Globecomm Systems Inc. donated thousands of dollars worth of satellite equipment and services to help victims of the California wildfires, which destroyed more than 1,400 homes and burned more than 500,000 acres in late October.
Globecomm donated a satellite terminal as well as the satellite service to use the terminal in support of the Christ In Action (CIA) ministry, a Virginia-based Christian outreach organization. CIA first approached Globecomm after Hurricane Katrina, and Globecomm donated satellite services, including internet and telephone so victims of the hurricane could reach family and friends and access U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) benefits.
When CIA heard about the families who lost their homes in California, they contacted Globecomm again. Michael Christopher, senior program manager for Globecomm network services, said the company will provide the communications terminal and service as long as it is needed, possibly as long as six months. Christopher estimates the cost of the terminal as between $5,000 and $6,000, plus a rough estimate of a few hundred dollars a month for the service.
Nissley said he did not know how much the service was worth, only that it was “way out of my reach.”
The victims of the California wildfires are using the services differently than those in the Gulf region, Nissley said. “Some people use [the internet service] to go online to pay bills, some have looked for jobs, many have used it for insurance purposes,” he said. “Some have had businesses and they needed to get online to make sure the business [kept going.]”
Additionally, workers for relief agencies such as FEMA and the Red Cross have used the available internet to help with their missions. CIA has used the service to recruit and keep volunteers at the sites.
"Many of the volunteers who poured into the area to help were small and mid-size business owners from around the world,” he said. “Thanks to the communications network now in place, they have been able to remain longer, since they can now manage their businesses and personal affairs on-line, thanks to the satellite connection."