24 September 2023

Digital Technology Guru

Digital Technology Guru Reviews

The Digital Divide: Bridging the Gap for Children in Need of Computers

2 min read
The Digital Divide: Bridging the Gap for Children in Need of Computers

The digital divide continues to widen, leaving children from low-income families at a disadvantage. In the United States, nearly 60 percent of children in low-income families do not have access to a working computer in their homes. This lack of access impacts their education and future success. However, one organization is working to bridge this gap, one child and one computer at a time.

Tammy Hershfield and her husband recognized the need for computers among low-income children and began collecting and distributing computers 18 years ago. What started with a hundred computers from friends and families has now grown into an operation that gives out 36,000 computers annually with the help of large corporations like Loreal. They refurbish donated computers with new software and ensure they are clean and registered to the new owners.

The COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted the importance of technology and access to resources. Computers 2 Kids, the organization founded Hershfield, refurbished a staggering 96,000 computers during the pandemic. They have also partnered with internet providers to offer free or discounted internet service to families in need. Additionally, they provide technical and educational support to ensure children can fully utilize the technology.

Complementing their efforts, Computers 2 Kids is developing an app in collaboration with Stanford University to allow students across the country to apply for a computer. They have expanded beyond Southern California and have programs in Arizona and Nevada, as well as the ability to ship computers throughout the United States.

Computers 2 Kids believes in the power of reuse, aiming to find markets for electronics that cannot be used in their program. They resell items on platforms like eBay and work with electronic resellers, with 100 percent of the proceeds going back into refurbishing systems.

Bridging the digital divide requires collective action. Computers 2 Kids is hoping that other cities will adopt their program, and they encourage individuals to donate their computers and contribute to making a difference. The organization firmly believes that reuse is the new form of recycling, and with everyone’s support, they can leave a lasting impact on children’s lives.

– Computers 2 Kids website