Around town: Needy students equipped with technology thanks to Electronics for Education | New
In the latest Round Town column, information about a student-run nonprofit that has donated dozens of computers to local youth and dozens of nonprofits receiving grants from the Palo Alto Community Fund.
COMPUTERS FOR GOOD … Daniel Schendel has long had a passion for repairing computers, but wanted to find a way to put his hobby to good use. When the pandemic hit last year, Schendel got his chance.
In March 2020, the Top Gunn junior has started refurbishing used computers and donating them to schools and nonprofits, which donate them to students in need. “Especially during COVID, when kids needed technology the most to learn and go to school online, I realized a lot of kids needed help,” Schendel said.
Over the past year, Schendel has transformed his project into a full-fledged nonprofit called Electronics for education, which is run entirely by students. Along with three other high school students, Schendel has donated around 50 computers so far.
The genesis of the idea came before the pandemic, when Schendel volunteered to Global Education Fund, a non-profit organization that awards scholarships to students from developing countries. Through his work there, Schendel realized that the Global Education Fund provides computers to students who don’t have them. He then learned that there are also students in his own community who do not have access to a computer.
Schendel began finding used computers online to repair them and give them to students in underserved communities. His first donation was East Palo Alto Academy, a charter school in the Sequoia Union High School District. Other recipients have included the Arbor Bay School in San Carlos and the World Education Fund, where Schendel volunteered. Electronics for Education accepts monetary donations, as well as computer equipment. For more information on the project, visit electronicsforeducation.org.
A GOOD YEAR … The pandemic has had a ripple effect on all industries, including nonprofits. The Palo Alto Community Fund made movements that created their own ripple effect. In the past 12 months, the fund has awarded $ 1.175 million to nonprofit organizations.
“The generosity of our donors continues to help thousands of people get through some of the most difficult days, weeks and months of this ongoing crisis,” said the CEO. Lisa Van Dusen said in a press release.
From August to December 2020, the community fund distributed a total of $ 200,000 in COVID-19 relief grants for housing assistance, mental health services and other forms of assistance. (About a year earlier, in the first few months of the pandemic, the organization distributed more than $ 1 million in COVID-19 relief grants.)
PACF also distributed $ 800,000 to 69 nonprofits in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and Menlo Park last March as part of its annual grants program to support efforts to address inequalities in education. education and helping vulnerable populations, among other needs.
Another $ 150,000 was awarded in April and May in the form of Dave Mitchell Impact Grants, named after the longtime community leader. The money was distributed among the Ravenswood Family Health Center, Builders of hope united, Children’s Health Council and EPACenter. An additional $ 10,000 was awarded in May to Menlo Spark, Climate resilient communities, Environmental volunteers and Life moves through the Cammie Vail Leadership Fellowships.
The organization has registered a record number of donations for its annual appeal, according to Van Dusen. Contributions increased by 23% between fiscal years 2020 and 2021.