PCs for People creates new opportunities by providing personal computers and education to people who have limited experience with technology due to social, physical and/or economic circumstances. Since the organization’s inception in 1998, they’ve distributed more than 20,000 computers to people in need. Over the years, however, times have changed and simply owning a computer is insufficient.

Job searching, school work, research and communications don’t happen without access to the Internet.

PCs for People had been interested in offering Internet to their clients for years, however attempts to partner with large home Internet providers never materialized. So in October of 2012 they began bundling low-cost, high-speed mobile Internet from Mobile Citizen and the people they were able to serve doubled from the previous year. For more than 80 percent of PCs for People’s clients, this is the first time they’ve owned a computer and now they can do more with it.

“Mobile Citizen’s low-cost mobile Internet program was flexible and allowed us to be more involved. That allowed us to bring additional services and build closer relationships with the people we serve.”

Casey Sorensen, PCs for People’s Executive Director

Sorensen will tell you that it is about much more than providing computers and Internet access. It is about changing people’s lives. In demonstrating how PCs for People makes a difference, Sorensen tells one of his favorite user stories.

Success Story

Sorensen recounts one client, a single parent, who returned to the office six months after receiving his very first computer bundled with mobile Internet. He wanted to share how it had changed his life. Delighted, Sorensen asked how. And this gentleman explained how having a computer with Internet access helped him apply for 12 jobs in one week, resulting in him quickly finding a job that allowed him to support his family.

Before owning a computer and having his own Internet connection, applying for those same 12 jobs would have taken him several weeks. Previously, applying for jobs meant going to the library where there were not enough connected computers and computer/Internet time was restricted. Applying for just one job took at least three days. Using the hour a day he was allotted, he spent day one researching jobs. On day two, he would apply for the jobs he had found on the previous day, and on day three, he would return to complete the required pre-interview screening questions.

Freed from that daily time restriction, he was able to spend as much time as necessary to apply for jobs and the results came quickly: new opportunities and new employment in a matter of weeks rather than months.

Results

  • 20,000 computers distributed since 1998
  • Bridging the digital divide by bundling
  • 3,200 bundled with mobile Internet since October 2012
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