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Good Computer Karma
Thanks to $50,000 from Etsy, The Loyalty Foundation’s Gift of Computers Has Empowered 500 More Students to Dream Big
Two happy Loyalty Foundation Devices4All® program Chromebook recipients at The Boys & Girls Club in Flint, Michigan. Additional photos below. High resolution versions of select photos are available on request.
This past September, thanks to a $50,000 donation from online marketplace giant Etsy, New York City not-for-profit The Loyalty Foundation was able to provide computers to 500 students in underserved communities across the country. The donated funds were raised by the sale of Etsy’s unwanted computer and IT equipment after it was removed and sold by Loyalty Foundation partner, Liquid Technology.
The Loyalty Foundation was founded in February of 2019 by former Manhattan District Attorney David Neeman to close the digital divide by equalizing opportunities for those in communities with limited access to computers and digital education. “By leveling the playing field and inspiring and instilling a love of technology,” he says, “we help students develop the knowledge, skills and self-esteem they need to participate successfully in the digital economy.”
Initially, the foundation set out to provide technology education programs to children in underserved communities. When those programs were interrupted by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, they learned that several of their students could not participate in remote learning because they did not have access to a computer. The Loyalty Foundation established their Devices4All® program to obtain and distribute refurbished Chromebooks to kids in need. The donated computers have allowed kids to not only learn remotely, but work with tutors, write rap music, access teletherapy, and learn to speak English.
“We want kids and parents to understand the self-empowerment that access to technology and digital education can unlock for them,” says Neeman. “It can not only lead to steady employment and well-paying jobs that will uplift themselves and their families, but it allows kids to think creatively, because they know they now have a real path to becoming the next entrepreneur, video producer, game creator, or whatever they dream of being.”
An example is The Loyalty Foundation’s Gaming4Good program, which goes beyond how to design a game by also teaching kids the ability to think critically and how to execute an idea. “You can make grandiose plans, but then you actually have to program it and go step by step to put it into action, which is complicated,” says Neeman. “Kids learn to work together, problem solving, team building, allowing each child to use their unique skills. But it’s really about challenging the kids, because when you create something, it gives you confidence to know you can do it again, which is empowering.”
What began locally, quickly went national after The Loyalty Foundation connected with Family-To-Family, an organization that provides food, personal hygiene products and other basic life necessities to families struggling with poverty. Since then, the foundation has continued to partner with community-based food banks and organizations to provide computers, technology education, and mentorship programs to communities across the U.S., including Flint, Birmingham, and Newark.
Organizations which have received Chromebooks to date:
• Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Flint, Flint, MI
• Human Rights First, NYC
• Familias Triunfadoras, San Elizario, TX
• George Washington Carver Middle School, Waco, TX
• Newark Public School System via 211 Community Impact,
• Ubuntu Football (of South Africa, for students who have immigrated to the US), Spencer, IA
• Police Athletic League, NYC
• New York Public School / PS 19Q, NYC
• New York Public School / PS 111, NYC
“I want what we’re doing to become a movement,” says Neeman. “Technology is the future, and this is just the beginning. The world is unfair, but there are little things that all of us can do that will make a big difference to so many lives. We must keep finding the way back to our hearts, to do what matters.”
New donors—from corporations to universities—are invited to follow in Etsy’s footsteps and keep the good computer karma flowing by donating unwanted computer and IT technology directly to The Loyalty Foundation Devices4All® program to fund the purchase of Chromebooks for children in underserved communities. To donate funds please visit www.LoyaltyFoundation.org/donate. To donate technology, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow The Loyalty Foundation on Instagram at @loyalty_foundation.
High resolution versions of select photos are available on request.