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The Patterson Foundation Contributes 100,000 Dollars to NetHope's Hurricane Eta and Iota Response Efforts

December 21, 2020
SARASOTA, Fla. (Dec. 21, 2020) – To help people affected by Hurricanes Eta and Iota, The Patterson Foundation is contributing $100,000 to NetHope to aid its efforts in restoring telecommunication abilities. The money will support communities across Central and South America that have had their ability to connect disrupted following the two major hurricanes. The gift is intended to catalyze more giving toward NetHope’s important work.

Hurricane Eta initially weakened critical telecommunication infrastructure when it made landfall as a Category 4 storm. With the arrival of Iota, a Category 5 hurricane, only days later, the fragile infrastructure was decimated by the intense winds and torrential rain. In addition to the widespread damage, hundreds of thousands of people in Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Colombia, and other countries are without reliable ways to communicate with loved ones, friends, and officials. Following COVID-19 protocols, NetHope will consult with government officials and its member organizations in the areas affected to evaluate their needs for communications and connectivity to support the response effort.

“NetHope has a record of successfully leveraging their partnerships and resources to quickly restore vital communications infrastructure following a wide variety of large-scale challenges and disasters in vulnerable communities across the globe,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “We have seen how NetHope can respond while strengthening communities with proper telecommunications capacities for future disasters. The Patterson Foundation is proud to contribute to NetHope’s effort in Central and South America following Hurricanes Eta and Iota.”

NetHope partners with global leaders in technology and philanthropy – including Microsoft and Facebook – and a consortium of about 60 international nonprofits to design, fund, and implement innovative approaches to solve humanitarian challenges in the developing world through the use of technology. This work includes responding to large natural disasters and providing telecommunications relief to the communities involved. Following Hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017, NetHope sent teams to the Caribbean to restore telecommunication services so first responders and communities could communicate in over 80 locations across the region. Beyond providing vital connectivity for the initial response, these services are poised to facilitate communications for people and aid workers following future natural disasters.

“Connectivity has become a vital resource during times of crisis and upheaval, and our nonprofit member organizations rely on us to get them online so they can efficiently deliver aid and services to those who need it most. In addition, NetHope provides connectivity projects so that the people that are affected by disasters such as these hurricanes can find their loved ones, source food and water, and of course access health care in chaotic circumstances,” said Lance Pierce, CEO of NetHope. “When funders like The Patterson Foundation respond quickly to join forces with us, we can move faster, and we can empower our member organizations to reach more people with life-saving aid. The needs in the affected areas are great, and NetHope has the experience and is poised and ready to deploy even more help. We urgently invite other funders to match The Patterson Foundation’s gift so we can help more people during this time.”

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Since 2010, The Patterson Foundation has contributed more than $2.2 million to strengthen NetHope’s operations worldwide. The funds have gone toward response efforts for disasters like the Syrian refugee crisis, the Ebola epidemic, and Hurricane Dorian.

Visit www.nethope.org to learn more about NetHope. For more information on The Patterson Foundation, visit www.thepattersonfoundation.org.


The Patterson Foundation
The Patterson Foundation strengthens the efforts of people, organizations, and communities. The Foundation focuses on issues that address common aspirations and foster wide participation, along with ways organizations learn and share as they evolve. For more information, please visit www.thepattersonfoundation.org and connect with @ThePattersonFdn on Twitter.

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