March, 2019
Welcome to Cristina Connections

Honoring our Partners in the Cristina Network
Everything is within your power and your power is within you .
We have taken note of the fact that March is Women's History Month. Women have been key to the formation of a formal nonprofit sector in the United States . They have played a critical role in creating solutions within our society that have made a significant difference that improve the quality of life of millions of people. With these facts in mind, w e chose to highlight in this edition of Cristina Connections a partner organization that was founded and continues to be managed by a woman. We are proud that women leaders of nonprofit organizations are well represented within the Cristina Partner Network.  

We introduce you to The On it Foundation and to its Founder, Calvetta Phair. A person with a quiet voice and gentle demeanor who does big things, Calvetta Phair is proud that the organization she founded and is serving as its executive director is now celebrating its 20th anniversary year. 

Calvetta Phair’s search for an affordable computer for her daughter so that she could do her school work was her personal motivation to start an organization that now, since its founding, has helped more than 10,000 people who also needed them. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, The On it Foundation provides free computers and important technology skill sets for low income families with students in grades K-12 who reside within the United States.
As we have all come to learn, technology skills are essential for people to succeed in a digital economy. Young people who do not have sufficient access to technology skills are held back from being employed in that world. It is why Calvetta Phair has engaged volunteers, community partners, families, and more to apply youth development strategies that she has developed.

These youth development strategies , include STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) community and education events that explore careers and entrepreneurship, robotics, coding and software/apps development, refurbishing used computers, workforce initiatives, industry mentors and more. Further, her organization has joined one of the communities within the Cristina Partner Network, AFTRR ( Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse) . This will enable The On it Foundation to gain additional practical knowledge that will effectively put used computers back to work again.
Happy Anniversary The On it Foundation
Celebrating 20 years of community giving in 2019 with Back2Back community events in Atlanta Super Bowl 2019 and Miami Super Bowl 2020. Congratulations Calvetta Phair. We raise our glasses in celebration of your work.
Obsolescence and Abundance. Side by side they might be thought of as a conundrum. Dictionary.com says the definition of a conundrum is a situation where there is no clear right answer or no good solution. Is what is obsolete junk? And what do you do when you have a lot of this stuff you don’t want anymore?

The Education Partnership joined the Cristina Partner Network in 2018 because teachers they worked with in Southern Pennsylvania needed access to free or low cost computers. Talking with Josh Whiteside, the executive director, and reviewing their operational model, we learned that the philosophy of the Education Partnership was practiced in the same universe as the National Cristina Foundation. We share the same ideals. In this universe, obsolescence and abundance prove to be compatible concepts. The concept of what is valuable becomes redefined. The idea of product abundance produces exultation.
Josh explained. “We are part of a national network managed by the Kids in Need Foundation whose overall purpose is to gather school supplies for teachers. As we approach our tenth anniversary in 2019, the Education Partnership is now well positioned to meet the ever changing needs of the 110 schools we interact with locally. Products that are coming from businesses that are throwing them away because they do not want to use them anymore are given a valuable second life by giving teachers the ability to facilitate learning. In Southern Pennsylvania, four thousand teachers are benefiting."

The Education Partnership's agenda is designed to equip teachers and students in schools where few supplies are available because of school district budget restraints or because parents cannot afford to purchase them. Josh adds, “Valued at over $4 million in terms of the products fair market value - they include school supplies, pens, folders, hygiene items, clothing, books, furniture and more. Our programs are designed to make sure that students who don't have them are equipped with the basics they need in the classroom."
Kids in Need Foundation conducted a survey in 2017 of 12,000 teachers who were participating in this program across its network. Among the impact statistics cited,teachers reported that there was an 83% increase in class participation, a 76% increase in self esteem, a 59% increase in homework completion and a 43% increase in student attendance. So think again about obsolescence and abundance. Who says there is no clear answer? There is no conundrum here!
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