Update: November/December 2014

NOVEMBER 21, 2014

Tags: Kansas City

clear-4g-devicesWe now offer the Internet equivalent of a pay-as-you-go cell phone plan! For just $10 a month, low income individuals and families can connect with fast, unlimited 4G wireless Internet. No credit checks, no long term contracts.One of the most important aspects of our digital inclusion efforts is to create opportunities for low income families to get online in their homes. After a year of planning and research, we have found an approach that almost everyone we work with can afford. This program is made possible by a partnership with EveryOneOn.org and Mobile Beacon. To learn more call us at (913) 730-0677.

lab

Since we opened the NE Wyandotte County Community Technology Center in March 2014, hundreds of residents of the Juniper Gardens public housing project and the surrounding neighborhood have used the facility. They take advantage of open computer lab times, free classes and other activities. Open five days a week, the center has become a valuable resource to both adults and youth in one of Kansas City’s most under resourced neighborhoods. It is a model we plan to replicate in other needy inner city Kansas City neighborhoods, making public access computing more widely available. Over the past several weeks, we’ve made a significant investment in upgrading the computer lab with additional technology and faster bandwidth. The result is an even better user experience for those who use our computers on a daily basis.

LiteracyKCLiteracy KC is a non-profit organization providing no-cost, one-to-one tutoring services to adults in the greater Kansas City area. Through our partnership with them, the people they help learn to read are now able to get very inexpensive PCs and the digital skills they need to access the online world. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with them and other great local people-helping organizations with training for their staffs, inexpensive computer equipment and low cost IT services.

B2Cadd4IgAAkx2eThe busy workbench at our PC refurbishing workshop. This past year, we saved hundreds of perfectly useful computers from the scrap dealers and put them into the hands of low income individuals. Most have gone to inner city neighborhoods where fewer than 1 in 5 households own a computer according to the 2013 US Census. For people who struggle to meet their daily expenses, it’s difficult to get a computer. We make it easier by asking $75 for a complete system – and that can be done on layaway. Our workshop has scaled up and we are now producing nearly 200 Internet ready PCs a month.

marc_2014While our computer refurbishing efforts get affordable computers to low income families, we are helping the environment too. To recognize our efforts, on December 5, 2014, the Mid-America Regional Council will honor Connecting for Good as one of their 2014 Sustainable Success Stories. This award highlight projects that advance the three pillars of sustainability — social equity, economic vitality and environmental stewardship.
As you are planning your year end charitable contributions, please consider investing in Connecting for Good. Help us to continue our efforts to make sure that anyone who can benefit from using the Internet is able to do so.

Written by Tom Esselman

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