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Collaborative Galveston Organization
Message of Introduction
Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dear Galveston Neighbors
 
It has been a very busy week and I am pleased to inform you that we have been working very, very hard and I have some wonderful news!  If you do not know me, I am Erin Toberman, and I am working as the Collaborative Galveston Organization liaison. 

This collaborative effort has begun with United Way, Red Cross, Catholic Charities, Jesse Tree, Gleanings from the Harvest, St. Vincent’s House, The Children’s Center, Salvation Army, GISD, FEMA, City of Galveston, Galveston County, Galveston Housing Authority, NAMI, Sigma Home Health, Community Health Choice, Gulf Coast Center, Boys and Girls Club, UTMB, Society St. Vincent de Paul and the list goes on and on.  More and more non-profit, business and governmental organizations are able to attend our Monday, Wednesday and Friday meetings and we are seeing great progress with every new meeting.
 
We have set up a program for Galveston to allow organizations obtain temporary access to secure, reliable communication infrastructure for our organizations and our communities. 
 
We will publically launch www.Help4Galveston.org on Monday, October 13th – one month to the day after Hurricane Ike’s landfall.  www.Help4Galveston.org is a collective group of local, regional, state and national government, agencies, organizations, communities, businesses and individuals working together to help Galveston, TX repair, restore and rebuild.
 
The toll free number is 888-425-5439.  This number will introduce the caller to the Help4Galveston.org Hotline and ask the caller to either press “1” to Volunteer, press “2” to Donate or press “3” for Assistance. 
 
When a caller presses 1, they will be immediately transferred to the Volunteer Reception Center telephone, located on the second floor of City Hall. 
 
When a caller presses 2, they will be immediately transferred to the Galveston Recovery Fund telephone number. 
 
When a caller presses 3, they will be directed “if they know their party’s extension dial it now and for individual disaster assistance, please press 1, for a list of extensions, please press 2.”  Should callers press 1, they will be connect to a telephone bank managed by a couple of the local non-profit agencies.  Phone bank operators will assess the needs of the individual calling and provide them information on contacting the appropriate organization, business or agency.  This service is NOT for individuals.  It is to help provide temporary communication infrastructure for Galveston’s public and private organizations, government and businesses.
 
The number of possible extensions is virtually unlimited.  However, we ask that organizations applying for this infrastructure are thoughtful about their true need requirement.  Businesses and their extension numbers will be published on the www.Help4Galveston.org website and updated every evening.
 
When you are assigned an extension, you may set up your extension in one of 4 ways:
                Announcement Only
                Voice Mail Only
                Direct call transfer to a cell phone or other land line
                Direct call transfer and return to voice mail if no answer.
 
Once a voicemail has been left in your mailbox, you will be able to choose your preferred voicemail alert - text message, email or call reminder to notify you that you have voicemail waiting in your mailbox.
 
Inbound Fax service are also available.  The fax number is also 1-888-425-5439.  Once your sender hears the greeting, they may press “send” on their fax machine and we will receive faxes digitally.  Faxes may be forwarded to email or may be printed and available for pick-up, currently located at the United Way office at the Galveston Community Center, 4700 Broadway.  Outbound faxing is available by stopping by the United Way office and you can drop off your faxes to be sent and pick them up later in the day or next morning.
 
Organizations/Businesses may also register for an email address.  Email addresses will be “your organization”@help4galveston.org.  You will be able to access email on-line at www.Help4Galveston.org under the Administration page or you may choose to have it delivered to a private email address if you are using a private email address for your business/organization business.
 
We are working with www.VoiceNation.com to set up the virtual PBX phone system and we are working with www.godaddy.com to support the email and fax systems.
 
There may be minimal costs associated with your for-profit organization but those costs will be addressed upon registration. Costs should not exceed $30 - $50 per month.
 
To register your organization, please reply to this email and provide me with the following information-
Business Name or Acronym
Business Address (temp or permanent)
Contact Name
Contact Telephone Number
Contact Email
Please indicate your interest in telephone extension, fax and or email capabilities.
Best time and telephone number to contact to set up applications.
 
Remember, this is temporary – through the end of the year.  When your organization has restored any or all of the requested support services, you will be asked to change your extension to announcement only to indicate where callers may contact you.
 
Storage – We are also offering storage opportunities.  We have a secured outdoor area (on Galveston Island) where we have multiple weather-tight storage containers to store, receive and ship materials around Galveston County.  We are able to add additional containers as required.  Please contact me directly if you are in need of receiving, storage, inventory management and/or local distribution assistance.
 
As many are still without access to internet (there is a Wi-Fi spot located in the parking lot of Kroger), please forward this invitation for support, as you see appropriate, to your friends, associates and neighbors.
 
If anyone has any questions or concerns, please feel free to email or call me directly at (281) 468-0818. 
 
We are greater than the sum of our parts – please join us in helping each other!
 
Warmest regards,  
 
Erin Toberman
Cell: (281) 468-0818
 
www.Help4Galveston.org 
Hotline: 888-524-5439
 
Repair - Restore – Rebuild




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