Associations Combine Aid Efforts

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Industry members across the country have recognized the need for immediate aid as well as long-term planning and assistance to help those in their community whose lives, jobs and business have been affected after Hurricane Katrina destroyed areas of the Gulf Coast region in late August.

The ICIA NSCA, and CEDIA have announced the launch of the Electronic Systems Industry Relief Program and dedicated web site (http://portal.nsca.org/relief/), in an effort to aid member companies and employees in the Gulf Coast region affected by Hurricane Katrina.

The site provides on-line resources for victim members including available housing and office space, equipment donations and services, as well as updates from member companies on their operational status. The site also includes employment resources in an effort to rebuild and recover from loss or damage. Registered site users may communicate via the sites forum, and receive updated federal and industry-related news.

The collaborative effort of the industrys leading associations is one step in the recovery process of all our members in the Gulf Coast Region. We have already witnessed immediate action from our manufacturers, integrators, consultants and others. Their efforts have lessened financial burdens, provided temporary housing and employment, and helped businesses keep their doors open by offering temporary office space, said Chuck Wilson, executive director, NSCA, The Industry Relief website is an excellent tool for connecting companies and individuals with those in need of support.

Wilson urges all who are able to assist to get involved in the relief effort by visiting the web site (http://portal.nsca.org/relief/) and post their offer to help. The rebuilding process for our members will take a great deal of time, says Wilson, Help will still be needed long after Katrina coverage has stopped. We must take action and come together as an industry to continue assistance for our members in need.

ICIA's volunteer leadership and staff are mobilizing efforts to assist in ways that can enable the AV industry to come together to provide support during this time of need.

ICIA is working to gather information on members in the Gulf who have been affected, and is soliciting information to help them provide assistance. Readers with information should e-mail membership@infocomm.org.

ICIA is offering immediate emergency financial assistance to impacted members. We are contacting them right now and offering money to help them with such items as renting storage space, moving their gear, paying employees, or other needs that call for immediate cash. We are asking you to contribute to this fund this is members directly helping members and is being coordinated through our Foundation. We have already sent funds to three members, and are contacting others to see if we can help. We are trying to raise $150,000 to help our members.

ICIA is offering college scholarships to dependents and employees of commercial member companies who are currently enrolled, regardless of their major if they are currently in college or about to begin (amount to be determined on a case-by-case basis). We want to make sure that our members arent forced to bring home their kids from college because of the disaster. ICIAs Foundation is conducting this campaign and we will match your contributions dollar for dollar. We have $50,000 to spend and we are asking ICIA members to contribute the same amount to reach our goal of $100,000.

Members in the affected areas will receive a one-year membership in ICIA free of charge (to begin at time of renewal). ICIA will waive their renewal fees, because we want to continue to support them as members after they get back on their feet.

ICIA will match donations made to the Red Cross and other charities, at 10% of donor contribution. We have already received $14,000 in donation receipts that we will match, and we have pledged up to $10,000, so we have more to give please let us know about your donations so that we can match them!

To join the relief effort, visit http://portal.nsca.org/relief/

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