A significant percentage of underserved and low-income families across America don’t have access to a computer or are limited to one computer per household. This limits access to plenty of online resources, whether that’s online banking, job postings or online education tools.
And in a tech hub like Seattle, the difference between the haves and have-nots can be even starker. So one local tech company is trying to do its part by providing people with computers, one family at a time.
Avanade, a digital and cloud services company, is hosting a computer drive for families in-need. Avanade was created by Microsoft and Accenture in 2000, so it has deep roots in the tech world. But technology is often catered to the privileged, so the company felt the need to give back.
The company partnered with InterConnection, a local nonprofit, to take previously used Avanade computers, refurbish them, load them up with the latest Microsoft software and distribute them to families through other community groups.
The company hosted its first computer drive on Monday, where it donated 20 computers to 20 families associated with the Kent Youth and Family Services organization. The next drive is being held on Wednesday, when the company will hand out computers to 20 more families through the Mona Bailey Academy educational nonprofit.
These computers are all fully functional and also come with two months of internet provided by Comcast.
“Avanade hopes to make a human impact by providing vital technologies to families that need it through our partnership with InterConnection,” Bob Bruns, the company’s chief information officer, told Built In. “First and foremost, we want to get as many computers as possible into the hands of students and families who need them while sheltering in place. We don’t want any student to fall behind because they don’t have the resources they need.”
The company has even more computers to donate, and plans to host more events in the future. Avanade said it also may host events outside of Seattle, leveraging its connections to Microsoft and Accenture and their networks.
Washington has issued a statewide stay-at-home order, limiting what residents can do outside of their homes. Businesses and schools have shut down as well, with many shifting to online-only operations. This means it’s more important than ever for underserved families to be connected.
“Seattle is home to many of our people and InterConnection’s mission of getting previously used IT assets like computers into the homes of those in need is a worthy one,” Bruns continued. “Our hope is that more companies will be encouraged to partner with great organizations like them to help right now and in the future.”