We’re excited to partner with Reconciliation Services to create the first Internet cafe and Wi-Fi hotspot on Troost Avenue! It will be on the first floor of the building where we have our offices and computer refurbishing workshop.
- January: Center on Westport Road in Kansas City, MO opens. Digital life skills classes and PC refurbishing begin. The classes are designed to help those who have never been online become productive digital citizens. Those who complete the courses and meet income guidelines receive high quality repurposed computers for as little as $50.00.
- March: Rick Deane leaves the board of directors when he and Dan Harmon become the first employees. All of the residents of Posada del Sol, a 60 unit low income senior housing facility in Kansas City MO, receive free in-home Internet in partnership with Westside Housing.
- April: Work begins on a four block wide Wi-Fi “hotspot” to bring free Internet to 300 households at the Juniper Gardens public housing project in partnership with the Kansas City Kansas Housing Authority.
- May: Connecting for Good is providing free bandwidth to over 500 low income households at a total of three low income housing complexes using Wi-Fi mesh networks and “backhaul” delivered through wireless microwave point-to-point technology.
- July: The organization moves to 3101 Troost in Kansas City, MO to gain additional space for growing programs. A PC refurbishing workshop is set up in the lower level, with second floor offices and fourth floor classroom. Sitting on the highest elevation in KC’s urban core, the building’s rooftop provides line of sight for several miles in every direction for AirFiber dishes.
- August: Free wireless bandwidth is extended to 31st and Troost and to the 18th and Vine District. KC Freedom Network is established in partnership with the Free Network Foundation, the Mutual Musicians Foundation and Reconciliation Services. It’s purpose is to extend connectivity to under served neighborhoods in the city by promoting an Internet co-op model.
- September: Fall 2013 Digital Inclusion Campaign is launched running through November to bring digital literacy training and inexpensive computers to the twenty “fiberhoods” that were last to qualify for installation of Google Fiber. Over 300 people participate in free digital life skills classes at fifteen different locations around the city. This was accomplished though partnerships with local groups like the YMCA, the Kansas City Public Library, the Urban League, the Green Impact Zone, Blue Hills Community Services, Ivanhoe Neighborhood Association and Literacy Kansas City.
- October: Engineering and feasibility studies begin in order to assess the opportunities for extending wireless connectivity to Kansas City’s urban core neighborhoods in partnership with the Kansas City Public Schools, the Upper Room and the Urban Neighborhood Initiative.
- December: Work begins on the Northeast Wyandotte County Community Technology Center on N. 3rd Street in Kansas City, KS across from the Juniper Gardens housing project. The organization’s second location has a 20 workstation public access computer lab and other programs to spread digital literacy and technology adoption in this needy area.
Though beginning 2013 as an all-volunteer organization, we start the new year with four full-time employees, one part-time staff member and a full-time intern. Most importantly, by year’s end over 1,000 people in Kansas City’s under resourced neighborhoods had participated in the free training sessions and over 600 low cost refurbished computers found their way into the homes of low income families. Hundreds of inner city residents became first time Internet users who are on their way to discovering and using it’s life-changing resources.
The staff and board of Connecting for Good gratefully acknowledge our many partners, contributors and volunteers for making 2013 such a successful launch year. With your continuing support, we are certain to make an even bigger impact in 2014!
Learn more about how you can get involved.
One of the main contributors to the Digital Divide is a lack of access to affordable computer equipment. Many under resourced people who could connect to the Internet simply do not have the funds to purchase a PC. Meanwhile, millions of still usable computers are sent out to be stripped down and their components recycled. The return on these activities is about $12.00 per unit. However, what value can we place on how these same computers could benefit an inner city student or low income family or senior citizen by providing them a way to access the many resources available to them on the Internet?
Who knows? If we place an affordable Internet-connected PC in the hands of an inner city kid, we just might have started the career of the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs!
Last year Connecting for Good provided over 600 refurbished computers to low income Kansas City residents for as low as $50. We plan to double our output this year by operating a full scale, professionally staffed computer refurbishing workshop. Our staff, interns and volunteers take used desktops and laptops and create high quality, Internet ready PCs. As a participant in the Microsoft Registered Refurbisher Program, a software grants program allows us to provide these computers to those who complete our free digital life skills classes and meet income qualifications.
Every computer that comes out of our shop has a fully registered copy of the Windows 7 operating system. Microsoft Office is also available. We work with Macintosh and Linux computers, as well.
We follow a strict set of data destruction standards that ensure the confidentiality of the information on the donated computers we receive. What we can’t use, we send out to certified recycling organizations so nothing ends up in a landfill.
To meet our outreach goals, we need hundreds of used computers every month. Won’t you help? You may be able to give us PC equipment that you don’t use and get a year end tax deduction at the same time. What is no longer useful to you can be turned into something that will truly change the life of a child in an under resourced urban core family.
- If you are interested in giving your equipment toward our efforts, please use our Computer Donation Form.
- If you would like to learn more about volunteering in our refurbishing operations, use this form.