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Hurricane Irma:

In September 2017 in conjunction with our sponsor Fifth Third Bank, we deployed 2 buses to provide a supportive response to the victims, communities and employees impacted by Hurricane Irma. For example, one of the eBuses was on site at the largest shelter at Florida Gulf Coast University on September 16th from 11-3. With 45 Bank and community volunteers at this event that served 575 displaced individuals from Collier, Lee and Port Charlotte Counties. Visitors were assisted with the online FEMA disaster relief application and housing information. In addition, the event included music and children's entertainment to bring some warmth and fun to a very difficult situation.

Hurricane Katrina:

In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. In conjunction with our sponsors, we deployed 6 eBuses to the gulf coast to lend assistance. The infrastructure was in ruins and cell phones, cable, etc. were not available – so the eBuses with volunteers became a lifeline for the victims. The eBuses used their satellites to access the internet and allow people to get online with family, insurance companies and FEMA. The volunteers on board provided guidance on topics such as avoiding predatory lending, fraud prevention, home repair and rebuilding guidelines, avoiding foreclosure and more.

Southern California Wildfires:

Union Bank and Wells Fargo volunteered their eBuses to assist with disaster recovery. The impact is best described by volunteer John Hughes of National City’s Adult School Technology Dept:

I just got off the phone with Judy Shaplin, CEO of the Mountain Empire Family Medicine/Mountain Empire Community Center. She called personally to thank us and may soon be in touch with you expressing her thanks. As you found, many of the persons served were profoundly affected by the events of that week. Judy is so appreciative of the bright spot you and the e-bus provided. Kudos, big time, Mary! The bus's presence was a major, valuable support effort. Union Bank and the County are well thought of for their effort to connect folks.

While we can drive away, many of the people return to difficult circumstances. I have volunteered my students and my own skills to assist the folks out there. Great lessons in compassion and service.

Please pass the thanks of Judy's staff and the folks of the town of Campo along to your organization. It provided hope in dire times.

The Community Connect program is made possible through sponsorships, strategic partnerships and the support of our community partners. If you would like to become a program sponsor or donate to help us continue our mission, please contact Ingrid Jimenez, Director of Administration, at 916-418-5100 or by email at

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