To meet the need of San Diego County students and families without home computers for distance learning during the pandemic, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Cox Communications, the San Diego County Office of Education, and San Diego Councilman Chris Cate, District 6, are joining together with Computers 2 Kids to rally businesses and the public countywide for a month-long computer drive to benefit local students.
During the "Meet the Need" Computer Drive Sept. 28 to Oct. 31, San Diego County residents and businesses of all sizes are encouraged to donate computers, laptops, and tablets they no longer use but that can be refurbished for low-income families and kept out of the landfills.
Since school closures due to the pandemic, San Diego-based nonprofit Computers 2 Kids (C2K) has already fulfilled more than 19,000 requests for refurbished computers to meet the needs of families struggling to help their children complete their education from home. But there are still many more requests from K-12 families, as well as college students, and C2K needs to restock its shelves.
According to the San Diego County Office of Education:
- 1 in 4 students started at-home learning without access to a computer
- 50% of low-income families still have no access to a computer or internet at home
- 95% of schools started this fall with remote learning only
"By donating their unwanted electronics, businesses and individuals will enable us to help more students and families who lack technology at home for their education," said Cheri Pierre, CEO of Computers 2 Kids. "Our team will breathe new life into the donated devices so that they end up in the hands of a family in need for their children's education, and not in our landfills."
"I've seen first-hand the impact Computers 2 Kids has on our District 6 families. I applaud Cox Communications and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce for hosting the 'Meet the Need Computer Drive.' Together, we can bridge the digital divide and ensure all families have this needed technology," stated Councilmember Chris Cate.
Cox Communications has donated nearly 17,000 computers to Computers 2 Kids over the years when the company has swapped out its office computers for new systems. In May, Cox donated $250,000 to C2K to help the nonprofit refurbish and distribute 20,000 devices this year to low-income students and families.
"We encourage other businesses of all sizes to donate any computers they no longer or that may be sitting in storage collecting dust," said Sam Attisha, Senior Vice President and Region Manager of Cox Communications. "Computers 2 Kids makes the donation process so easy and reusing is the new recycling. Let's put a device in hands of all families that have a need."
"Students are our future workforce, they are our next generation of entrepreneurs, our elected leaders, our first responders," said Jerry Sanders, Chamber President and CEO. "We want to give all of San Diego's students the best opportunity to reach their goals and that starts with ensuring they have the technology tools to access their education. Together, we can all help meet the need in our community and make a big difference in a young person's educational future."
"When we surveyed local schools in September, there was still a need for more than 71,000 devices among our region's 500,000 public school students," said San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold. "Bridging the 'digital divide' is important not just now, in the pandemic, but in the long term. Addressing this need — especially among our county's most vulnerable student populations — is a first step in equalizing access so students have what they need and deserve to succeed."
Computers 2 Kids, which uses Department of Defense information sanitization protocols on donated devices, is also a Microsoft Registered Refurbisher and loads a new Windows Professional operating system to the refurbished computers, which includes Microsoft Office Suites, Microsoft Security Essential anti-virus software, and various other useful software programs. Microsoft Certificate of Authenticity labels are then attached to each computer.
Computers can be dropped off at the C2K warehouse, or a pick-up can be scheduled for larger donations. To donate your computer or electronics, or pledge a future donation, visit www.c2sdk.org/meettheneed.