Otto Bremer Foundation Project Wrap Up

2015 bremer wrap upThe holiday season came early for PCs for People in December of 2013. We were awarded a grant by the Otto Bremer Foundation to distribute 2,400 home computers to low-income students and their families through our PCs for Kids program, affecting a total of 4,320 kids.

A pilot program launched in 2010, PCs for Kids was designed to provide home computers to families with school-aged children. Our PCs for Kids program partners with elementary schools and headstart programs to provide access to digital resources for school aged children.

Through the PCs for Kids program and thanks to Bremer grant, our PCs for People staff were able to extend the reach of our services to 7,920 people! The dedicated members of our staff traveled to twenty-one cities across Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Each city we visited had its own set of obstacles to overcome. From navigating the rugged winter terrain of these snowy Midwestern landscapes, to becoming acquainted with the unique constraints that arise out of collaborating with community members for the first time, our PCs for People staff overcame several hurdles.

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Our Year in Review

2015 in reviewIf you pressed the pause button on PCs for People's work last year, you might have noticed something: we had a little help from our friends. 2014 was a year of collaboration for PCs for People. Together we chipped away at the digital divide and extended the reach of our services. Thanks in part to the Otto Bremer grant, PCs for People traveled to new cities across Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota.

The impact of our work is visible in the numbers. We distributed 2,400 computers to families thanks to the Bremer grant, bringing our total number of distributed computers up to 8,549 for the year. 3,300 of those computers were given to families free of charge. To put all of this into perspective, here's another stat: 60% of our recipients last year reported that they were first time home computer owners. You have to consider the implications of becoming a first time computer owner to truly understand why this number is music to our ears.

Read more: Our Year in Review

PCs for People in the Media

Our PCs for Kids program has caught the eye of a local news station. Wednesday, October 23 KSTP channel 5 news ran a story about our Jackson Preparatory School event. PCs for People was able to distributed 150 computers to low-income families at the school thanks to funding for the PCs for Kids program.The computers were fully equipped with a variety of software, Windows 7, and a 90-day warranty.

Read more: PCs for People in the Media

Otto Bremer Foundation Supports PCs for Kids Program Expansion

Otto Bremer Foundation

PCs for People has received a grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation to support digital inclusion through our PCs for Kids program. $170,000 has been awarded to pay for the distribution of 2,400 computers to low-income families with school-aged children in 22 communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The mobile refurbishing project will travel to Minnesota (Alexandria, Brainerd, Baxter, Breckenridge, Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, International Falls, Mankato, Marshall, Moorhead, Morris, Owatonna, St. Paul, Willmar), North Dakota (Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks, Wahpeton), and Wisconsin (Menomonie). The project seeks to increase broadband adoption, reduce electronic waste, and help bridge the digital divide in Bremer communities. Since launching PCs for Kids in 2010, PCs for People has successfully completed 42 events across the State of Minnesota.

Read more: Otto Bremer Foundation Supports PCs for Kids Program Expansion

Championing Affordable Internet Access

Star Tribune

PCs for People was featured in a Star Tribune article on January 2, 2014. Both our Executive Director and Founder help tell the story of our rapid growth in the number of computers we distribute as well as the addition of low-cost Internet service to our clients. The article was written by columnist Gail Rosenblum who focuses her columns on people, social issues, trends, and the complexities of human relationships.

Read the story

500 Computers Distributed to Blandin Broadband Communities

Blandin Foundation

In our most recent partnership with the Blandin Foundation, we were tasked with distributing 500 computers to nine separate communities throughout Minnesota. In a six week span, we traveled 2,200 miles to deliver computer systems to low-income families. That same milage equals a round trip from our St. Paul headquarters to Washington D.C or a one way trip to Mexico City!

In each of the nine communities, we partnered with a local steering committee made up of engaged forward-thinking individuals wanting to make a difference in their community's technological vitality. Those steering committees helped us engage the local school districts, county governments, tribal governments, and social service organizations to identify families in need. Once the families were identified, PCs for People delivered computers to the community and in many cases helped distribute them directly to the families.

Read more: 500 Computers Distributed to Blandin Broadband Communities

LPS Donates 200 HP LCD Screens to PCs for People

Saint Paul, MN (October 31, 2013) – Saint Paul, Minnesota nonprofit organization PCs for People has received 200 HP LCD screens from LPS for distribution to low-income families. The screens will be used during PCs for People's current PCs for Kids tour across rural Minnesota.

The donation was from LPS, a leading provider of mortgage and consumer load processing services, mortgage settlement services, default solution and loan performance analytics, as well as solution for the real estate industry, capital markets investors and government offices.

Read more: LPS Donates 200 HP LCD Screens to PCs for People

Celebrating Milestones

Business has been incredibly brisk as of late. It seems like every month we set new records in the amount of computers that are going out the door or the amount of people we sign up for the internet. We work so hard at our jobs that we rarely stop to acknowledge the milestones we have reached. Let's take a moment to celebrate!

Milestone One

Last week, we set a new daily record by giving out 144 refurbished computers to low-income families. To put this in perspective, it took us over two full years between 1998 and 2000 to distribute our first 150 computers. In other words, a year's worth of work in 1998 is now easily being done in just one day!

Read more: Celebrating Milestones

Affiliations

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