In last month’s Got IT feature, we told the story of a woman who left an abusive relationship with no money to her name and needed a computer to help her start a new life. This month, another brave woman named Heather Clarke has agreed to share the difficulties she’s experienced in her life and how give IT. get IT. is helping her get on the path to financial independence for herself and her family.
For the past sixteen years, Heather has struggled with a variety of medical problems that have impacted her mental health and robbed her of her ability to work. Since Heather has agreed to share her real name and a photo with us, we won’t get into the details about her struggles. Instead, we’re going to focus on her dreams and what she’s doing to achieve them.
In an effort to cut their expenses while helping a family member in declining health, Heather and her fiancée recently moved in with her future father-in-law. The situation is far from perfect as the house needs many repairs that Heather and her fiancée are helping to fix while being full-time caregivers. Still, not having to pay rent is helping Heather and her family to feel settled and start making plans to improve their lives.
For Heather, that means improving her graphic design skills to take her small business to the next level. “I currently make customized t-shirts and other items,” Heather explained. “I’ve been trying to branch out into more graphic arts and design work, but I’ve been unable to do so because my current computer is so old. It’s super slow and will not run GIMP, one of the main design programs I use at this time because it’s free.” Heather knows there are better, more powerful graphic design software programs out there but she needs a computer powerful enough to run them. “Having a more up to date computer will allow me to use better software, produce more products to sell and help my fiancée by supplementing our income so we’re not struggling each week,” she says. “It will also make it possible for me to go back to school online for graphic arts to better my abilities and knowledge so I can produce better products and offer more services so I can provide for my family better.”
To help Heather achieve her dreams, give IT. get IT. provided her with an advanced desktop computer that will be able to run any design programs she needs. Thanks to the retired technology we receive from businesses throughout New England, this powerful machine that cost thousands of dollars when it was new cost us just $300 to upgrade.
Heather’s financial situation qualified her for a give IT. get IT. grant funded by the generosity of our sponsors and donors. As a result, this $300 machine (that’s worth significantly more) cost Heather nothing and includes a year of free technical support should anything go wrong. “This is very emotional for me because this computer is literally a life saver for me and this family,” Heather said. “I just cannot express in words how grateful I am for everyone’s help in getting this computer for me.”
Heather is one of thousands of people we at give IT. get IT. help every year by providing the computers, training and support they need to acquire new skills, train for better jobs and be more productive. We are the proverbial “hand up” that enables people to get out of tough situations and put themselves on a better path.
If you’d like to help more people like Heather receive the computers they need to succeed at low or no cost, please consider making a donation to our program in the form of a sponsorship.
If your company has retired tech that we can upgrade to help people in need, please call Chris Martin at 207-322-6257 or email him at [email protected].