In early September 2013, residents of numerous counties in central and northern Colorado were victims of historic flooding, as more than half a year’s worth of rain fell in one three-day period. In response, the Red Cross opened shelters and mobilized staff and resources to respond and provide relief to the affected communities.
Although the devastation was heartbreaking, the generosity and compassion of Coloradans was uplifting. Every television station in the Denver-metro area – and some radio stations as well – joined together to host a live broadcast fundraiser to support Red Cross Disaster Relief efforts. Red Cross workers recognized that volume would be beyond the capability of the host site’s phone systems. To help this effort, we provided contact center assistance to support the organization’s fundraising endeavors, answering nearly 7,000 phone calls during the Colorado Flood Relief live broadcast fundraiser within a week of the floods. Overall, 191 employees volunteered to answer incoming donor calls during the Red Cross fundraiser, and we turned our headquarters into a temporary donation center. In addition, we deployed our new proprietary cloud-based technology platform to route and answer donors’ calls and provide reporting on call statistics and volunteer availability. This platform provided a communication engine compatible with any Sessions Initiation Protocol/Voice over Internet Protocol (SIP/VoIP) phone. It also eliminated the need for landline phones for a quick and flexible standup of the donation center.
We were able to mobilize our resources in less than 48 hours to help the Red Cross raise significant amounts of money, with 100 percent of donations received going directly to Red Cross disaster relief and recovery assistance for flood survivors. As our mission statement declares, we consistently aim to impact the communities where we live, operate, and invest. We remained true to our vision, bringing positive change to those residing in the affected areas.