This past week I was distinctly honored to not only have the opportunity to work for a company who truly cares about helping those in need, but to also have the privilege to fly to Houston and work with an AMAZING team of Yahoo’s reconnecting those who have experienced the unfortunate tragedy caused by Hurricane Katrina with their loved ones. Yahoo, in partnership w/ SBC, setup computers w/ high speed Internet access and provided the evacuee’s with the ability to post their location + search for loved ones, as well as get email and voicemail accounts so they could be contacted easily by those looking for them. In the few days I was there, I had the good fortune of witnessing numerous people get reunited with their loved ones. It was truly an emotional experience which I think would touch even the most insensitive of person. I feel we positively impacted many people’s lives in a way which will never be forgotten.
Yahoo also assisted one of the larger locator sites, which couldn’t handle the traffic it was receiving, by hosting the site on Yahoo’s network at no cost to the owner (and without Yahoo branding / advertising either). Upon returning to Sunnyvale on Wednesday, I was invited to attend a government policy hearing in Washington, DC on thursday with numerous groups involved in Hurrican Katrina assistance efforts (FEMA/Department of Homeland Security/White House/American Red Cross/etc). Taking a red eye flight that night, I arrived in DC just in time. Over the course of the whole day, we set a plan of action for the government going forward. I’m not sure what details I am allowed to share, so I will not go into any further detail to be on the safe side. I have more meetings next week about what Yahoo’s continued and future involvement will be, so as soon as more is announced publicly I will post more here. I would once again like to thank the executives of Yahoo for truly caring about the victims of Hurricane Katrina and not using it as a brand marketing tool unlike some companies are doing (who will remain nameless).