2022 Brings More for Bridging Tech
Our women-led organization is creating the next great push for technology access and sustainability. Read below to learn how you can help us host a tech drive in your community this April.
To our dedicated supporters:
As Bridging Tech’s new Directors of Development, Hadas and Martin, we are writing to let you know how excited we are to kick off our involvement with this community, as of this month! From our April tech drives through our end-of-year gala, we will be involved in all of Bridging Tech’s external facing events and activities, so we cannot wait to meet you in-person or virtually soon. Keep reading Bridging Tech’s newsletters to learn more about our future events and charitable opportunities. Thank you.
Hello everyone! My name is Hadas Egri. I am an economist with more than 15 years of experience - specialized in the financial planning and control fields. Prior to my relocation from Israel four years ago, I served as the head of the Education Board as well as the community manager within my township. Both roles were oriented towards communal growth and township development. Since moving to the US,
I have been looking for opportunities to get involved locally, in the hope of making a difference. I am thrilled to join the Bridging Tech team as it is a wonderful opportunity to give back as well as gain experiences of incalculable worth. I am looking forward to a year full of meaningful doing, exciting events, and lovely people, all joined together under one cause: bridging the digital divide by providing educational opportunities and technology.
As a brief introduction, my name is Martin Dalton, and I have worked in the tech industry now for close to 11 years (that flew by) — both in finance and business development. After moving to North Carolina’s coast during Covid, I became more formally involved with volunteering locally. After seeing Bridging Tech come across my news feed, it seemed like the perfect fit to broaden my ability to help others nationally/globally and intertwine my professional tech background with my volunteer efforts. Since technology and the general industry itself has given my family so much, I am grateful for the opportunity to help others improve their lives through technology.
Spotlight: Women in Tech
March is Women's History Month. It is during this time that we, as a team advocating for social justice, would like to celebrate the contributions of the many women making an impact on our society. Women everywhere are making incredible strides in their respective fields and setting precedents of leadership for future generations.
Dr. Gladys West grew up on a farm in Virginia during a period of segregation. Dr. West knew that an education would be her ticket to freedom, so she worked hard and won a scholarship to attend Virginia State College. She then began her career as a teacher while working her way through graduate school and eventually accepted a job at a naval base in Dahlgren, Virginia. Dr. West had no idea how taking this job as a programmer on a naval base would change not only her life but our way of life today. One of the projects Dr. West’s team worked on was the programming of the IBM 7030 Stretch computer. It was the fastest super computer of its time. The objective of this project was to provide calculations for an accurate geodetic Earth model that documented in detail the shape of the Earth - this initiative was a large part of what would become the GPS orbit. Their technology laid the foundation for the widely and publicly used GPS on our personal devices today. From satellites and computers to our cell phones, the original programming and coding for GPS was done by Dr. Gladys West and her team.
Kike Oniwinde, Founder and CEO of the BYP Network. BYP has been described as LinkedIn for black professionals. Kike has said, “If you’re the only black person in the workplace, which tends to be the case for a majority of black professionals, and work long hours and go home, you’re not seeing anyone like you. But actually there’s a whole community of people like you who are going through the same thing. And if you find them you can help each other and that’s how you grow.” Kike describes herself as an entrepreneur and activist, offering a novel solution to the limitations of advocating for equity and fair treatment through networking and community.
Arriving in April: Our Push for Tech Drives
In 2021, we made incredible progress in technology access advocacy. Now, we are serving well over 3000 students affected by homelessness across the country through long-term commitments. We are incredibly grateful to all of our shelter partners for collaborating with us to make a difference in our students’ lives.
We could not have fulfilled our promises to improve educational equity without your outstanding commitment to our mission of bridging the digital divide. Together, through device donations and educational opportunities, we transformed the lives of students affected by homelessness, some of whom are also part of refugee and Native communities.
As a result, we more than doubled many of our fundraising goals in 2021. We have arrived in 2022 with an even greater drive to help as many students as possible receive a more equitable education. So, how can you continue to help?
As we prepare for our sustainability awareness campaign for Earth Day in April, we are focusing on having everyone we know host a local technology donation drive on behalf of Bridging Tech. You can collect unused devices such as laptops, desktops, and tablets, along with helpful monetary donations. We will wipe all personal data and send refurbished devices out to the students we serve.
You will be personally responsible for helping potentially hundreds of students gain access to technology and giving them transformational educational experiences.
Sign up to give your time by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
What We're Watching
Lead Me Home shows the struggles and humanity of people who are housing insecure. We follow a pregnant mother who is trying to find shelter for her two children before she gives birth again. From living in cars and tents or on the street, we learn how people affected by homelessness have come upon their unlucky situations and the large obstacles they need to face in order to stop the cycle. This film is real and raw with emotion. It will pull at your heart strings as you watch people struggle with loneliness and isolation on the streets. A must watch for 2022.
Your Impact - Keeping Our Promises 💻
Thanks to your help on our joint initiative with Coalition for the Homeless to fill the entire device need for students affected by homelessness in New York City, we have been able to distribute over 1,000 laptops (and counting!) to New York City students affected by homelessness. From the West Coast to the East Coast, you are helping make this a reality. We have a bit more to go, and we are as motivated as ever to bridge the divide!
During our fundraisers in 2021, we were able to completely fill the device need for our partner organization serving Afghani Refugees, and provide 300 laptops for learning to students affected by homelessness in Navajo Nation. Your support has given us this incredible national reach to advocate for educational equity and technology access. It is because of your dedication that we are able to make a meaningful impact in under-resourced communities across the country. Thank you for your ongoing, charitable giving.
Do you want to join the cause? ❤️
If you believe in what we advocate for and want to join our team, please consider applying. We always appreciate extra help at Bridging Tech, so we are currently recruiting core team volunteers who can dedicate at least 10 hours weekly for the next year. If you or someone you know are interested in getting involved on a greater level, let’s work together to magnify our impact!
You can become a volunteer or donate. ✨
Thank you for showing support by pledging your time. We will reach out to you when there are opportunities to volunteer by hosting technology donation drives, mentoring our students, or helping out our regional teams in a city near you.
As always, help out by donating your old devices! 💻
With the help of our refurbishing partner, all information from your devices will be wiped, and the devices will then be fixed so that we can provide refurbished devices to students affected by homelessness. Beyond personal devices, check to see if your company has extra devices, and motivate IT and Philanthropy teams to donate hardware to Bridging Tech. Our initiatives promote both educational equity and environmental sustainability!
Finally, become a Digital Divide Ambassador. 🎖️
Share this newsletter with ten of your friends, and tell us about you and your community to become a Digital Divide Ambassador at Bridging Tech! Email us at email@example.com.
Special Shout-Out: Give Back Box
Our shipping partnership with Give Back Box ensures that we can ship our large collections of local device donations for the lowest cost possible. This means that we now have the capacity to give even more devices! By visiting our Give Back Box partner page, you can purchase a shipping label for a $15 flat fee and send bulk donations under 50 pounds, such as desktops, to our refurbishing partner. For all donated devices, we can help you out by reimbursing the shipping expenses!
Next Steps Recap
April 2022 — Upcoming Earth Day Campaign
We are looking forward to hosting our annual sustainability campaign, in preparation for Earth Day. By collecting used devices and repurposing them, we see our cause as improving sustainability and education at the same time. We are asking all of our volunteers to host local technology donation drives to collect used devices so that we can wipe all personal data, refurbish them, and get devices back out into the hands of students who need them.
We need your help to spread the word about our campaign! If you are happy to host your city’s local technology donation drive, we will send you instructions for how to plan the event, and where to send the laptops afterward. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate your interest in hosting a Bridging Tech technology donation drive, and we will reach out to you with more information soon!
Ongoing — Recruiting New Team Members
We can always use the extra hands at Bridging Tech, so we are recruiting volunteers who can dedicate at least 10 hours weekly for the next year to join our team. If you or someone you know are interested in getting involved on a greater level, please send us a message at email@example.com.