Community Computer Connections Program

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Friends of The Retired Senior Volunteer Program
City & State:
New York
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program's mission is to offer diverse volunteer opportunities to adults 55+.  RSVP supports Older Americans who wish to stay engaged in their communities by making a difference in others lives.  Community Computer Connections Program takes viable computers and gives them a second productive life while giving low income families a tool for developing their human potential.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Due to the assistance of Microsoft Technologies available to us from TechSoup and as part of the MAR community, RSVP's program, The Community Computer Connections project has enabled about 40 volunteers with tech skills and talents to refurbish donated computers and give them to over 850 low-income families and individuals living on Long Island, NY. Since August of 2006, these recycled computers refurbished under the authority of a MAR license, have impacted over 2,000 people who would not be able to afford this kind of technology.

The Community Computer Connections program has been able to increase the number of financially challenged clients RSVP serves while recruiting more volunteers with an interest and skill in technology who are looking for a different volunteer opportunity that would keep them involved in their community and making a difference in others lives. Community Computer Connections Program's goal is to bridge the gap between poverty and technology. In a satisfaction survey sent to more then 500 recpients of these computers, 100% of the respondents stated that they (and their children, if it were a family) had benefitted from having a computer in their home. 70% of the respondents said it was the first computer that they had ever owned. 100% of the people said they used it for communicating with family members and remaining in touch through e-mails. Another 74% said that they ordered their groceries and medications via websites and 42% of those respondents were homebound seniors. 60% said that their computer skills have been improved which has helped their employment marketability. 55% of the children were able to complete research and homework assignments, while 80% of the adults said that their refurbished pc enabled them to research emlpoyment opportunites on line. The Community Computer Connections program in just two and a half years has saved our local Long Island landfills from the e-toxic waste of over 850 computers. CCC has kept the corporate community in two counties aware of the plight of our less fortunate neighbors while allowing them through equipment donations to feel that they are also making a difference in others lives. Through server software donations from Tech Soup , the program has been able to streamline their delivery and installation databases allowing more effective use of volunteers from the different areas CCC serves. One particular recipient of a refurbished computer was a young woman who through a tragic accident lost all but the use of her right thumb. A chaplain from the nursing home where this young woman was recovering, wrote and asked if CCC could provide her a laptop which would help her physical therapy and prehaps raise her spirits. Within 48 hours, a laptop was refurbished and delivered to her nursing home by a dedicated senior refurbisher. In another instance a single mom of three children wrote to thank the CCC program for providing her home with technology that allowed her family to stay in the comfort of their home to do school assignments, instead of out travelling around the community looking for a public use computer on cold winter nights. CCC is a win/win for people who want an "out of the box" volunteer experience in refurbishing and tutoring. CCC helps the global warming problem associated with e-toxic litter in our the environment, while providing an essential tool to those that cannot economically afford this investment. According to data compiled in 2006 at the University of California at Santa Cruz, close to 20 million children in the US have not acquired computers in their homes. As a result, children, and other family members in the household can be left behind as the rest of the world grows more sophisticated and dependent on this technology. As former President Clinton said "technology can be the greatest equalizing force our society has ever known". As a result of microsoft products through TechSoup CCC has been able to transform the way that RSVP and the Community Computer Connections project has been able to meet our goals and mission.

Submission Category
Transformations to Maximize Impact
Project Image
Joel Becker.JPG