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Our Remarkable Journey

Our story began in 2006 with a small team of innovators, driven by hopes and dreams. We simply wanted to use our individual gifts and talents — and collectively, make a difference. Little did we know that a mighty hurricane would change the direction of our company and our lives. This was a time when "necessity became the mother of invention."

Hurricane Katrina
When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in August 2005, hundreds of displaced families found refuge in my hometown of Florence, Alabama, and the surrounding area. The United Way, Red Cross, Salvation Army, and local churches all came to the rescue.  Many resources were given out…but an age-old problem soon emerged. “The right hand…did not know…what the left hand was doing.”

Many questions went unanswered.  Who was getting what…and how much?  Were efforts being unnecessarily duplicated? Were the right resources…getting into the right hands, at the right time?

A New Solution Was Needed

During the aftermath of Katrina, Northwest Alabama Community and Faith-based leaders came together to discuss what they had learned. Frustrated by isolated impact and a fragmented approach to care, they realized that they needed a simple and cost-effective solution that would increase communication and cooperation among each other.  

They all wanted to reduce unnecessary and wasteful duplication of resources and efforts.  And, they wanted reliable shared data that would help them make better-informed decisions as how to allocate limited resources where they are most needed.

They all realized that they must learn how to work together, as a “community” — to do more than just help people get by.  Instead, they wanted to help people get ahead to a better quality of life, and a brighter future.

S.E.A.N.Tracker — the original

In October of 2006, they came to us at Simon Solutions in hopes of finding a simple-to-use, web-based solution that made good sense to all helping agencies in our community.  Together, we co-created the Shoals Emergency Assistance Network, nicknamed S.E.A.N.Tracker.  

This network served as a safe and secure central repository for information-sharing and interactive communication.  This made it fast and easy for helping agencies to quickly find and mobilize resources for people in need — a process which often took days, was now reduced to minutes.  Today, this Care Network has 94 multi-sector partners and serves multiple counties in Northwest Alabama.

Good News Travels Fast

During the first quarter of 2007, the good news about S.E.A.N.Tracker quickly spread across Alabama.

Tina Scott, former United Way Director, was getting phone calls from other communities who had heard about our success in getting helping agencies to work together.

Today, the S.E.A.N.Tracker model for care networking is now at work in 60% of all Alabama counties.  Collectively, the staff and volunteers of these networks have engaged in almost 2 million acts of kindness and care.

S.E.A.N.Tracker soon evolved into a more sophisticated tool for increased communication, cooperation, and collaboration among helping agencies. We adopted a new name for this solution and call it CharityTracker.
Alabama Care Networks

Local Solution Goes Nationwide

So, what was only meant to be a local solution for care networking, is now used in over 2,500 American cities in 49 states.  This solution is also finding its way into other countries, including the United Kingdom, South America, and more. 

As you can see the numbers are constantly growing, averaging about 250 new cities adopting this innovative solution each year. Over 17 million lives have been impacted by Care Networks.  We are tracking over 53 million charitable acts of kindness and care.  And, we are tracking over $1.5 Billion dollars invested into people’s lives.  

The Care Networks that communities are creating are proving to reduce duplication of efforts by as much as 91%.  And, helping agencies are becoming more resourceful and able to help more people.
SSI Nationwide Impact

Our Collaborative Partners

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Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."
— Helen Keller —
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