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TechSoup Global's new Local Impact Map is a trove of information on what nonprofits, NGOs, and libraries around the world are doing with their TechSoup-procured IT to further their missions.
By far, the biggest set of stories are the ones from organizations that serve youth and children. Here is just a sampling of what we have collected so far. Read on for a little Monday morning inspiration and then take a moment to tell us how donations you've gotten through TechSoup have helped you serve your community.
One that jumped out at me is the work that Anderson Center for Autism (ACA) in Staatsburg, New York is doing. It’s a place that provides educational and recreational services for autistic kids and also some adults. I have a soft spot for nonprofits that tackle really hard problems, and autism is certainly one of those.
It’s America's fastest growing serious developmental disability and the cost of lifelong care can be reduced by 2/3 with early diagnosis and intervention. Places like ACA are pretty important.
We found out about them through our Show Your Impact Program in which nonprofits describe how they’re using technology to support and further their work. ACA, like so many nonprofits, started out with almost no IT infrastructure and now has a very robust one, much of which is donated. They’ve made good use of TechSoup’s donation programs.
Because computers in classrooms are so important for disabled children, they make optimum use of the accessibility features in Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. Their IT supports the children and adults in various remedial learning capacities such as clinical, speech, occupational, and physical therapy.
They make very creative use of various Microsoft programs like Word, Power Point, and Publisher to help our children and adults communicate, so this has been one of the crucial doors to the world for autistic kids.
Ramakrishna Mission Students Home in India provides a home and education to orphaned boys from rural Tamil Nadu state in South India. Their tagline is “Palace For The Poor,” and their mission is to provide an elite education to very poor children. This NGO runs a primary day school, a residential high school, and a residential polytechnic college.
The school combines traditional Hindu education with modern technology under the care of monks of the Ramakrishna Religious Order. Currently there are over 700 students at the home, which runs exclusively on donations provided by philanthropic public and financial institutions.
They’re a great example of an NGO that really knows their IT. The kinds of donations they’ve gotten through the BiGTech Program, the TechSoup Global Network partner in India, support their infrastructure with things like Microsoft Visual Studio, Windows Server, and also Microsoft Office Professional.
Finally, I liked the story of Candlelighters' Childhood Cancer Support Program in Ottawa, Canada. In this project, the Candlelighters CyberKids program provides young cancer patients with a laptop with Microsoft Windows and Office. The laptops provided to the children allow the child to stay engaged and interested in school, stay in touch with their friends, and also distracts them from the rigors of cancer treatment.
The patients use Windows Messenger to stay in touch with their teachers as well and Windows Media Player to watch movies and listen to music while undergoing treatment. Something as basic as a laptop is a lifeline to a child who is isolated on a cancer ward. Children from the second grade on get laptops in this program.
Read more stories on our Local Impact Map from around the world that show the impact of technology donations on organizations and communities like yours.
Want to share the story of how tech donations through TechSoup have helped your organization better serve your mission? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Community Story" in the subject line.
Photo: Ramakrishna Mission Students Home