Partnership unveiled to donate computers to low-income families
by Anthony Olskey
Feb 06, 2018 | 707 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A new program will allow corporations to donate pre-owned and refurbished computers to low-income families, spearheaded by Borough President Eric Adams and TechFIN, a nonprofit based in Downtown Brooklyn.

The partnership was announced last week in the library of Boys and Girls High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where 62 students received their own computers loaded with programs such as Adobe Acrobat, Open Office and Windows 7.

At the event, Adams highlighted how important it was for families to have access to home computers and mentioned the impact the “digital divide” has on our country.

According to data from the 2015 American Community Survey, only 52.5 percent of homes with incomes less than $25,000 have computers or laptops. It’s a problem the borough president believes can be solved.

“We cannot allow our children to fall into the chasm of the digital divide, especially when we have the resources to help them and their families get connected,” Adams said. “When TechFIN’s board members came to meet with me, I was truly touched by their mission and determined to help advance it forward.

“As Brooklyn’s connector in chief, I seek out opportunities to bring together those extending a helping hand with those who need it the most,” he added. “Empowering Brooklynites with the tools of the digital age fits the bill and speaks to the spirit of Brooklyn.”

Nigel Frankson, co-founder and chair of TechFIN, said without the borough president’s support, the deployment of 62 personal computers would not have been possible.

“We are dependent on the generous computer hardware donations of local corporations and implore local corporations to consider TechFIN as a home for your working, but unwanted, desktop and laptop computers,” he said.

Grecian Harrison-Walker, principal of Boys and Girls High School, said it’s important to educate the mind, body and soul.

“That’s why it is so important that we continue to provide our young people with the tools that will help them succeed,” he said. “These donated computers will allow our students to study and prepare for their futures and we are very grateful for that.”

Many computers have been donated to TechFIN from corporations located throughout the New York metropolitan area. One reason why Techfin collects corporate PCs and laptops is because they tend to be more powerful than what a person might have in their home, and last a lot longer than a home laptop or computer.

To ensure the safety of both the donor and the person receiving the computer, TechFIN uses a program known as PDWipe to perform a declassified drive wipe. This program deletes all private and sensitive information from the computer’s hard drive.

TechFIN also partnered with Clean Cut Moving, a local moving company, which helps deliver all of the refurbished PCs to their new owners.

TechFIN has been able to acquire and deliver hundreds of refurbished PCs throughout the five boroughs in just its first two years of operation. The nonprofit plans to deploy dozens of PCs and laptops to low-income families through their partner organizations. such as Liberty High School Academy for Newcomers in Manhattan.

The organization is also working with Adams to connect with family shelters in Crown Heights and Sheepshead Bay. With the help of TechFIN, communities can help put an end to the “digital divide” for good.

“While we typically focus on providing commercial and residential moving services throughout the city and tri-state area, we are proud to partner with Techfin to facilitate its pick up and delivery needs,” said Alex Mansi, owner of Clean Cut Moving. “Doing so enables us to contribute to our local communities and help Techfin in its mission to narrow the digital divide.”
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