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Clarksville Community comes Together to Help Families in Puerto Rico Communicate

 

Clarksville Police Department - CPDClarksville, TN – Since disaster struck Puerto Rico at the end of September, there are still families who have been unable to communicate with their loved ones and determine if they are safe or need help.  

Police Chaplain/Reverend/Dr. Modesto Martinez recognized the need for something to be done to help overcome the lack of viable communication in Puerto Rico. The destruction of cell towers during the hurricane made cell phone communication extremely limited and sporadic, especially in remote locations, so other methods would need to be used.

Clarksville Police Chaplain Martinez will take four satellite phones to Puerto Rico on October 10th. (Jim Knoll, CPD)

Clarksville Police Chaplain Martinez will take four satellite phones to Puerto Rico on October 10th. (Jim Knoll, CPD)

After disaster struck in Puerto Rico, Modesto personally experienced the anxiety associated with being unable to communicate with family members in the wake of the widespread destruction.

It took him five long, stressful days to establish contact with his family and put his mind at ease.  He wanted others to have the same peace of mind he experienced after determining his family was safe. He decided he could sit, idly, with his arms crossed or he could do something to make a difference.   

So, the idea of using satellite phones was born and he put the wheels in motion to make it happen, but satellite communication is not cheap. As Police Chaplain for the Clarksville Police Department and Reverend for Christian Fellowship Flock, Modesto reached out and gathered support from the Police Department, churches, and the local community to raise funds to make the idea a reality.  Additionally, a GoFundMe account was set up. 

Through donations and the use of his own personal funds, four satellite phones were purchased. Each phone has 100 minutes of air time plus additional minutes were purchased, raising the money expended to about $3,400.    

Chaplain Martinez has been in touch with emergency responders in Puerto Rico and put a plan in place for travel to remote locations where communications have not been re-established.  The satellite phones will be utilized to provide a means for families to contact their loved ones.  He is traveling to Puerto Rico on October 10th, utilizing his own funds and will be there for 14 days. 

He intends to leave the satellite phones with designated officials in Puerto Rico so they can be used until communications is restored on the island.  The satellite minutes will be replenished as funds allow ($1.00 per minute).  

The GofundMe account, https://www.gofundme.com/satellite-phones-for-puerto-rico, through Reverend/Dr. Modesto’s church, an accredited 501 (c) (3) will remain open to assist with the funding for additional minutes.

Chaplain/Reverend/Dr. Modesto Martinez who was born in Chicago and grew up in Puerto Rico had a desire to make a difference, no matter how small.  Chaplain Martinez made the observation that many people working together to make a small difference morphs into a significant contribution. 

He also conveyed anything which can be done to help loved ones communicate cannot be measured in dollars and cents, but is truly priceless.


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