It’s easy to take your health for granted when you’re feeling good. Easier still to think that if you’re feeling good and able to earn a living, then everyone else should be able to do the same.
Unfortunately, for some people, life isn’t that simple. Since she was a child, Jenny (name changed to protect her privacy) has dealt with various health problems that caused her to miss time from school, fall behind in her classes, and struggle with feelings of sadness and isolation. While her classmates were in school, playing sports, and going to dances, Jenny was home trying to keep up at a time when home computers weren’t accessible.
Despite the many obstacles in her path, Jenny got through high school, graduated college, and launched a satisfying career as a glass artist before her health issues caught up with her again. “I quit working about 5 years ago when the struggle just became too much and made my health issues worse,” Jenny explains. “Quitting the pressures of work did improve my health and mental well-being, but not my financial situation.”
Between disability and the money her father left her when he passed, Jenny leads a modest, but happy life. After paying for her food, mortgage, and utilities, there’s not much money left for anything more than the occasional meal out. When Jenny couldn’t access her online bank account from her 10-year old rebuilt computer, she reached out to Computer Technology Assistance Corps in Manchester, NH for help. When she discovered that they’d gone out of business, she reached out to give IT. get IT.
Because Jenny also does volunteer work that she travels for, we determined that a laptop was the best choice for her situation. Fortunately, we’d recently received a donation of 30 machines from Tilson Technology in Portland, ME. After our team refurbished one of these computers, we assessed Jenny’s financial situation and agree on a $285 fee to help us recover a portion of the hard costs we incur in picking up, refurbishing, and shipping her laptop complete with a free computer bag to her home in rural New Hampshire. We also include free training and technical support with every give IT. get IT. computer. As soon as she powered it up, Jenny’s new laptop immediately impacted her quality of life.
“I have been part of a support group for chronic illness for about 4 years. They are now going to online meetings, so having this laptop is essential. We had our first online meeting last week and the new laptop worked great! I also use my computer for researching ways to improve my health, physical and mental. There is so much available online!”
Jenny will use her computer for email, looking up information, and getting driving directions. “I also will use it quite a bit for shopping for the things I need that I can’t always find in my local area.”
From being able to attend her online physical and mental health support meetings without crashing or lagging to emailing her doctors, Jenny is a perfect example of how having access to a computer, and a reliable internet connection is no longer a luxury, it’s essential to modern life. That’s what digital equity is all about.
Inspired to continue making positive changes, Jenny is thinking about moving closer to a nearby city where the services she needs are more accessible. “The computer will help me in my search for a new home,” Jenny says. “Being able to look at home listings and maps online will be a big help in this process.”
When we asked Jenny what advice she’d give for someone in her situation, she laughed out loud: “Wow! I could write a whole book on that, but to sum it up… I guess I would say: Keep the faith, cry when you need to, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.”
We’re glad you asked for our help, Jenny. We hope this computer helps you acquire the services and confidence you need to be healthier, happier, and more physically able to do the things that give you joy.
If your business has surplus technology in need of recycling or you know a company that does, please connect with Allen Cornwall, our Technology Reuse and Recycling Advocate at email@example.com or 207-749-3431.
If you’d like to help us help people like Jenny by contributing to our get IT. sponsorship fund, please CLICK HERE to make a tax-deductible donation. In Jenny’s case, she had the financial means to cover the costs we incur to pick up, refurbish, and ship her laptop with a free computer bag. When clients are unable to pay anything, we pay for it with money from the scholarship fund that we’ve built with profits from our recycling services and our online store, plus financial donations from businesses and individuals.