In 2019, Bridging the Gap distributed 879 computers and 606 mobile hotspots with three free months of internet service to over 800 students and their families.
The distribution events occurred in seven communities across the country - Youngstown, Ohio, Toledo, Ohio, Waco, Texas, Temple-Killeen, Texas, Emporia, Salt Lake City, Utah, and South Bend, Indiana. Bridging the Gap partnered with 31 schools in 2019 to select the eligible students and their families to receive the donated technology. The technology was donated through monetary support from Mobile Beacon and additional local community organizations.
Bridging the Gap is a nonprofit-led initiative of PCs for People and Mobile Beacon that helps community anchor institutions like housing authorities, schools, libraries and nonprofits provide affordable computers and internet access to eligible, low-income individuals and families.
“Equitable access to technology isn’t available to all students, and lack of technology disproportionally affects low-income students and their families,” says Katherine Messier, Executive Director, Mobile Beacon. “Through Bridging the Gap and our partnership with PCs for People, we can connect families across the country to the first-class technology required in today’s schools. Our program is rooted in the belief that digital equity requires that having a low-income doesn’t limit students and families to a low data cap or a lower level of service.”
PCs for People’s partnership with Mobile Beacon has given us the opportunity to bring technology directly into underserved communities. Access to technology and internet is essential to educational success as well as workforce and community development. We believe that having access to a computer and an internet connection is a vital tool for full participation in today's socies, CEO of PCs for People Casey Sorenson said.
Since its launch in 2016, Bridging the Gap has distributed 3,350 computers and 1,863 hotspots to low-income individuals and families across the country. Four-hundred, 85 community organizations have signed up to become Bridging the Gap partners to provide affordable technology to their communities. Learn more at www.pcsforpeople.org/bridging-the-gap/.
About Mobile Beacon: Mobile Beacon’s Educational Broadband Service spectrum, licensed by the FCC, provides high-speed, low-cost, mobile internet access to the anchors of communities: the nonprofits, schools, libraries, and healthcare organizations that provide vital services to millions of Americans every day. Through this broadband service, organizations have an essential tool to fulfill their missions and maximize their philanthropic impact, which allows organizations to access more information, reach more people, and help
Since 1998, PCs for People has been a driving force behind digital inclusion efforts across the US. We are a self-sustainable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a national reach. Self-sustainability is driven by our four step approach - Source, Refurbish, Distribute, and Support. With strong partnerships and dedicated staff 250,000 computers have been distributed, 128,000 homes have internet access, and millions of pounds of electronics have been responsibly recycled. Our corporate services include secure IT asset disposition and AAA NAID certified data sanitization. Learn more at www.pcsforpeople.org.