Press Release (ePRNews.com) - HOUSTON - Apr 17, 2020 - Comp-U-Dopt has received a $1 million gift to further their work in closing the digital divide. Eric and Shanna Bass have made the donation, which will enable Comp-U-Dopt to immediately serve an additional 5,000 youth with free computers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically shifted the education landscape and pushed school districts to scramble to implement online and distance learning opportunities as campuses remained closed. Yet, a significant portion of their student population still is not able to access these tools simply because they don’t have a computer at home.
“The incredible generosity shown by Eric and Shanna with this gift has a direct and immediate impact in alleviating the need for a significant number of families struggling to access resources,” says Megan Steckly, CEO for Comp-U-Dopt. “Leadership gifts like this remove the one barrier on the path to solving this issue for communities across the nation, and we are so grateful for their support.”
According to the Pew Research Institute, 46% of low-income families lack access to a computer at home, and census data points to approximately 13 million families across the United States facing the same challenge. With supply chain delays and the global demand for devices at an all-time high, Comp-U-Dopt’s approach is one of the most efficient and only real viable methods of closing the gap for low-income students.
“As the COVID-19 crisis has become more entrenched, Shanna and I were looking for a way to make an immediate impact, and were delighted to connect with Comp-U-Dopt,” said Eric Bass. “Having three children of our own we have always been passionate about charities that serve kids, especially through education, and are excited that these devices will help students continue to learn.”
While the majority of the funds from this gift will support Comp-U-Dopt’s work in the greater Houston community, it will also support their response to the need in Chicago, Washington D.C., and Dallas.
Since March 18, Comp-U-Dopt has distributed over 1,300 computers to families through their Computer Drive-Thru. Eighty-three percent of computer recipients are living in households earning less than $35,000 annually. In just 48 hours, more than 25,000 families registered for their computer lottery and more continue to apply.
Parents sign-up for the Computer Drive-Thru on Comp-U-Dopt’s website to register for a space in their computer lottery. Then, if selected, families RSVP for a date and time to come pick up their computer at the distribution site. Social distancing and safety protocols are maintained, and the device is placed in the family’s vehicle. Computers are given to families free of charge, and Comp-U-Dopt also provides information on free and low-cost internet options that match a familes’ specific needs.