Saturday, September 03, 2005

ACT Center established 

The ACT Center (Astrodome Community Technology Center) was established last night as a service to the Evacuee Community with the assistance of a multitude of helpers. We thank Compucycle (www.compucycle.net) for preparing the initial 40 computers for installation, SimHouston (www.SimHouston.com ) for facilitating the utilization of their email and on-demand services for accessing files anytime anywhere, and SBC (www.sbc.com ) for their pull out the stops efforts to install DSL lines for the ACT Center and other communication needs at the dome.

Please forgive me if I have missed someone, but we are thankful for the yeoman efforts of individual helpers including Clive Hess and his CompuCycle team, TFA staff including Rosemarie Foster, Pam Gardner, Jim Forrest and Esther Schaefer, Marcus Brown and son Tyler from Envision Technologies, Danny Perry from TechCorps Texas, Marie Arcos and J. P. Cortez from the M.D. Anderson YMCA CTC, Robert Way from SimHouston, Travis and his SBC installation crew, Jim Segovia and Katie Beeden from SBC, Alice Aanstoos from SBC for facilitating many details, Doug Mischlich, Efrem Jernigan, Zach Casper, Bryan Snow, Corey Withersby, Victor Seaborn, Eric Pho, Ben Tran, Esteban Sanchez Vera, Paul Jackson, Nona, whose last name escapes me, and several more who volunteered annonymously.

Some of the volunteeers from last night and a new crew will arrive at 9 am this morning to finalize the opening of the ACT Center, make signs, and establish use procedures and an ongoing volunteer support plan. We thank Marie Arcos and Nona for leading that effort. Additional computers (40-50 laptops) are expected today. Plus, we learned last night that DSL lines are being installed for similar installations at several others sites around Houston. This will require more volunteers and more computers, plus a little cash. With all of the in-kind donations etc., we only spent about $750 to get the ACT center up and running. We have already had several computer donations for installation at the other sites.

We thank our friends at the community technology centers network (www.ctcnet.org ) and the Digital Divide Network (www.digitaldividenetwork.net ) for helping get the word out about this project which begining today will assist the Evacuee Community in making connections with missing relatives, apply for various assistance programs and participate in other meaningful activities. Together we are establishing a list of relevant links to assist and empower the evacuee community. Thanks to all for your help!!!!! If you can volunteer at the ACT Center to assist evacuees, please email Pam.Gardner@techforall.org . Pam is coordinating the volunteer shifts to staff the ACT Center.

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