and thankful for all you do to help people in need.
Congratulations to Jeff Hanson the founder and Executive Director of Digital Bridge, a member of our AFTRR community of nonprofit refurbishers, for receiving the 2019 Recycling Excellence Award from the state of Wisconsin. This Milwaukee based nonprofit was recognized for its work to provide refurbished computers to low income individuals and nonprofits and for setting up computer labs for communities that need them.
Jeff Hanson explained how his organization got started: As a 19 year old student at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, Jeff was enrolled on a service trip to Kenya to set up a computer lab in a rural school. The Kenyan students were very excited about both the computers and the help they received from the people who brought them. Jeff was touched by the impact that these computers had on the students and the school that received them. He continued building computer labs on three continents.
Upon his return from the installation of computer labs outside of our country it was clear to Jeff that back home many people in his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin also lacked the technology to help them overcome the barriers of the digital divide. His path as an engineer he determined was now clear. He would build digital bridges for people who could not afford the technology they needed for work and personal needs. Digital Bridge was founded in 2009. This organization would refurbish computers and get them to people in need and help community partners who are already doing good work to further their missions and create a lasting legacy.
The efforts of Digital Bridge continues to grow each year. They have recently gotten a grant which enables them to conduct workshops at nonprofits throughout Milwaukee to orient new users to the technology they receive for use in their homes. Jeff reflects about what factors are helping the work of his organization evolve. “National Cristina Foundation’s AFTRR program representing many nonprofit refurbishers across the United States is a sustainable, powerful program that helps me continue to expand my knowledge about technology reuse. That is very exciting.”
National Cristina Foundation is participating in #Giving Techday(#Giving Tuesday) shining a light on success stories within the Cristina Network, highlighting the work of technology reuse and urging people to use cristina.org to make a donation.
We're going to continue with a series of posts in December about what to do with the old technology after the new laptops, desktops and tablets are received. It's probably the single biggest time all year when home electronics get replaced and old machines become available. Have a story to share? Email NCF. Let's make donating old computers a final step in celebrating the holidays!
Pictured: human I-T LA, CA; Lexington Vocational Services Jackson Heights, NY
TeamChildren Audbon, PA Information Technology Exchange Waterville, ME