December 17, 2021 – Tampa, FL – It’s a transformation that happens each year on the empty lot just west of Downtown. The big white tent starts going up in October and by the first week of January, more than 33-thousand families have come through here. It’s Metropolitan Ministries’ Holiday Tent on North Rome Avenue. PBX-Change + Tampa Bay Fiber help the non-profit receive the sea of humanity pouring in to this tent between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Like Santa’s elves, PBX technicians descended on the empty field months ago to make it possible. Armed with a radio antenna, a mast, battery backup, Ethernet cables and something called a “POE switch”, four technicians spent a combined 24 hours creating the high speed internet access that 21-thousand volunteers are now using. PBX donated all of its time and resources for a second year in a row. “When a family pulls their car into the tent, volunteers check them in on iPads,” explains Rebekah Nault, who does business and community development for the family owned business. “When I see volunteers using ourtechnology to find out what food package the family is getting and what toys have been prepared for them, that’s incredible! Nothing feels better!”
PBX co-worker Ryan Sumner says, “It’s an amazing feeling! I feel great knowing that I work for a company that cares so much about the community we live in.” Sumner and Nault are among the PBX employees who also volunteer at the Holiday Tent.
They see the end result of what technicians installed on the empty field without power or anything in the ground to cable in internet. Call it a “Christmas Miracle?” You shouldn’t. PBX has been serving the needs of local businesses for decades, providing VOIP and Internet, specializing in voice and cloud services. The pitfalls of providing internet service on a temporary basis kept other competitors away from Metropolitan Ministries Holiday Tent, but not PBX. They stepped in so the charity is no longer at the mercy of cellphone “hot spots” to get WiFi. Before the PBX donation, the process of checking in families or locating their packages in the tent was a nightmare – enough to turn even the happiest volunteer into a Grinch! With PBX’s donation, iPads and inventory devices at the Holiday Tent are powered by 200/200 mbps of internet speed.
PBX’ business owner with her husband and son, Martine Yaldor is all smiles when employees talk about the hustle and bustle at the Holiday Tent. She’s the company’s Chief Financial Officer and the workload keeps her late at the office on most days. “I’m happy that we can help those less fortunate, and that I can do something to help in a way that my overfull schedule would otherwise not allow. The number of needy families is truly astounding.”
The 54-thousand people that will pass thru the Holiday Tent by January 1st may never notice the PBX equipment on-site or even the sign thanking them as sponsors, but that’s okay. For PBX, the reward comes in the form of relief and joy. The profound relief comes from Metropolitan Ministries staff and volunteers who have internet access that works! The joy comes from moms and dads leaving the tent with toys for an estimated 50-thousand needy children this Christmas. “And that’s not all!” says Nault with a twinkle in her eye. “We’ve got another surprise for Metropolitan Ministries coming soon in 2022!”
Stay tuned for more …
To Learn more about PBX-Change + Tampa Bay Fiber, visit www.TampaBayFiber.com or call (813) 356-0010 to reach Ryan Sumner, Solution Specialist, or Rebekah Nault, Account Manager & Community Relations Representative.