Helping Us Grow a Stable Infrastructure for Friendship

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Friendship Community Care
City & State:
Organization's Mission Statement

Our Mission…Friendship Community Care, Inc. is a forward-thinking, humanitarian organization that promotes excellence and leadership in the care we offer our communities, by providing quality service to people with disabilities and others without disabilities, thus empowering them to lead dignified lives.

Friendship is committed to the improvement of human life by enhancing opportunities for growth and development in children, adults and seniors.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Thank You! TechSoup and MICROSOFT for addressing very critical needs that impacted the daily lives of thousands of people in Arkansas. The benefit from this interaction with Friendship Community Care, (FCC), still reverberates today as it increases the range of IT services available to staff. Your assistance further increases the number of Consumers we can serve.


To date, MICROSOFT contributions of software enabled FCC to offer new services as it empowers our MIS department to implement a complete infrastructure overhaul. Your participation brought FCC out of the IT Dark Ages into the IT Middle Ages by helping us create resulting foundational changes that still provide stability and security to offices located around the state.


FCC provides care and services to children and adults with developmental disabilities and assists the elderly. Donated software has included MICROSOFT SERVER and OFFICE SUITE products along with much desperately needed licensing capabilities. These low cost resources, in addition to the MICROSOFT charity licensing program have enabled Friendship Community Care to move forward toward using technology it only previously dreamed could be made available to its staff.


Friendship Community Care is also often the only connection for rural families to receive various services for their developmentally disabled or elderly loved ones. This illustrates how TechSoup and MICROSOFT not only impact the non-profit as a whole, but also the Consumer’s staff, the Consumer and their family.


Prior to restructuring technology, employees in rural areas were completely isolated from the main office. For example, several programs for at-risk children (with only a single computer workstation on site) were operating without any type of access to Friendship’s domain.


The lack of a secure email connection meant that data often had to be faxed or mailed between offices, slowing productivity. This also required the Site Coordinator be responsible for backups and other critical IT functions. As many computer professionals realize, this practice was less than ideal and often failed. When issues arose, an hour and a half one-way trip to resolve an issue for a single, standalone computer was required. Occasionally, multiple trips were a necessity.


Now, using a secure connection, those employees are able to operate as if they were inside Friendship’s main building. Communication of critical data that took days with the old system now takes moments over an encrypted connection. Management is also centralized, reducing the need for travel by approximately 80% and minimizing delays in resolving critical issues. Friendship is still not “out of the woods,” but we can "see the light at the end of the tunnel.”


Friendship employees are enthusiastic about the changes resulting from the donations of TechSoup and MICROSOFT. We invite you to read their statements to relate to their viewpoint of our ongoing progress:

“Before the donation, productivity was at a standstill. The ability to seek planning info could take days, weeks. The frustration and delays impeded teamwork and stifled our mission. Wasted time spent on unnecessary conflicts, unreliable info and unsolicited spam definitely curtailed the business efficiency we longed to implement. Infrastructure communications were negatively affected, yielding an unproductive corporate model. Now, Friendship is able to communicate on a stable and secure foundation.” - Management

“The server upgrade has greatly increased productivity. Previously, when the server went down, we had no choice but to wait. Sometimes we even waited for it to just process info.” – HUD Dept.

"Spam was a constant headache, now it’s a thing of the past!” - Senior Center Services

“Prior to the MICROSOFT donation, we had to mail or fax important documents because we did not have a connection to Administration. Access was slow and antiquated. Deleting spam was time consuming. After the upgrade, everyone has a connection to the main server. We can share documents and info. Actions that used to take days, now take minutes. Now, technology is one of the major tools we use to do our jobs efficiently.” – MIS

“Keeping track of employees’ attendance by hand was a real hassle. Now, it’s so much easier and efficient to enter names and hours in and out. The time it takes to enter data has been cut 50%, or even more.” – Vocational Training

“Before the upgrades, email to outlying facilities was a very slow process. We could only attach one file at a time. The computers would go down just when we needed to produce monthly reports. So, we manually carried files between facilities to complete paperwork or make simple communications. When the system did crash, we panicked because we could lose important info. That has not happened since the systems were upgraded. Now multiple attachments can be sent at one time. System speed has dramatically improved! What an enormous impact!" – Children's Services

“The upgrades made our work much easier and more efficient. The ability to access our files from any computer in the company (no matter where it’s located) has been the biggest impact for our Department. There are so many positive results. I could go on and on. The computers are great now!" – Adult Development

“Friendship's MIS department works toward keeping FCC in the forefront of technology. Our productivity increases with our connectivity." – Central Regional Office

“There was a time when coming to work meant spending thirty minutes deleting hundreds of spam emails. Now, our system is so much better, reliable, and secure. Our IT department is always trying new ideas to improve our equipment or expand our knowledge of our system applications. I really appreciate the hard work IT puts into keep us up and running and progressing forward!" – Billing Dept.


FCC is seeking favor from TechSoup and MICROSOFT to sense the urgency in our request and to realize the unlimited return that we could achieve together from their 2009 investment. We invite TechSoup and MICROSOFT to team up with us to provide the strength to further our mission goals, and believe that our combined efforts will continue to enhance the quality of the programs and services to the Communities and individuals we serve.


Your partnership has enabled us to DREAM, but your additional support is the only way we can DREAM “BIG.” FCC wants to maximize the impact we provide now by installing MICROSOFT VISTA on all our computer stations. We also DREAM of upgrading our MICROSOFT OFFICE SUITE to the 2007 version to further increase productivity.


Please choose Friendship Community Care to win the MICROSOFT Show Your Impact Contest 2009 and continue to lead us from the IT Middle Ages into the IT Present of 2009, so that we can plan for the future successes of so many others.

Submission Category
Stable and Secure Technology