Brian Rodriguez, founder of GatorWorks Web Design, oversaw the development of a first-class web site within days of Hurricane Katrina for the philanthropic Operation: Share Your Home. Rodriguez and his staff teamed up with LSU students, alumni, and local businesses to create the first new non-profit organization after the hurricane. The organization is designed to match displaced families with families who are willing to “share their home.”
The Operation: Share Your Home idea was developed by Billie Brown, mother of local business owner and LSU graduate Gary Brown, who was tired of waiting on the federal government to send aid to the Gulf coast. The Brown family decided to offer their home of ten beds, and the idea grew to a web site that received over 45,000 visits in the first three days of existence. Rodriguez and his GatorWorks Web Design crew worked around the clock during the aftermath of Katrina to provide a service that would attract over 1100 volunteers from across the country.
The organization has received over 20,000 requests from people world-wide willing to offer their homes to the evacuees located along the Gulf coast. Charlie Davis, President of the organization, said, “The outpouring of support has been overwhelming, and we are all proud to be able to offer a service we know truly helps those in need.” Davis mentioned that one individual donated over 200,000 of his frequent flyer miles to the organization to help in transporting evacuees to their temporary homes.
Operation: Share Your Home and GatorWorks Web Design are looking for interns who are interested in gaining experience in the information technology and/or mass communication areas. You can email GatorWorks directly at [email protected], and be sure to indicate that you are interested in the GatorWorks internship. The organization is also looking for more volunteers to help in the effort to match evacuees with families. If you cannot volunteer, you can instead make donations through the web site at www.shareyourhome.org.