Northwest One, Inc. (Northwest Internet Services) raised $3,770 for the county disaster and emergency services departments in 11 counties across midwest Iowa last December in a service promotion during the months of December and January, and Buena Vista County received $210 of that total.
The promotion, in which $10 was pledged for each new dial-up or high-speed Internet activation received during the two-month span, was the first endeavor of its kind by Northwest, and company communications manager Becky Collins said she thought it was a success.
"This year, with everything that has happened in the country, we thought we would do this single-buddy promotion and give all of the money raised from that to the disaster relief," Collins said. "We were initially planning to donate to national and then state organizations, but we thought in the end that the money would best serve the county organizations, because they would directly help our customers."
The amount each county received was directly related to the number of customers from each county who signed up for internet service with Northwest, and 21 Buena Vista County residents became new customers, equalling the $210 for the county.
Collins said each of the 11 counties had specific needs that were helped via the fundraising effort, and she said she was pleasantly surprised at how each county emergency service department used their allotted monies.
"It seemed that each county had its own project that it used the money for, and it was great to see the many different items they were able to purchase with the funds," Collins said. "One county bought different difibrillator equipment, another bought a mobile unit and another put it into their general fund for future purchases. We could tell that they were all really happy for the funding."
Collins said the success of the promotion has spurred talk of a similar fundraising effort taking place next year.
"We may do something similar, because it's been a real neat promotion," Collins said. "It's been fun to work with each individual county and see how this money has helped."