Late last year, my employment was terminated after thirty years in the computer/communication industry. This didn’t come as a complete shock, and I’ve had the chance to consider for a while what I would do next when my time came.
Over the last five years, I have been volunteering with the Peoples Resource Center, teaching classes providing an introduction to computers. The PRC accepts computer donations, refurbishes them, and gives them away to clients, in conjunction with providing training. Over the last 12 years, they have given away over 11,000 computers.
This is a very cool program, and when I looked for other programs that do this in other communities, I found that they were few and far between.
So, once I had more time on my hands, I started to explore the notion of introducing such a program in Milwaukee, my home town. Milwaukee County is the same relative size as DuPage County, and has a similar resource base and least as much need.
My initial thoughts were that PRC could serve as a mentor organization, documenting best practices and providing guidance. With some encouragement, the concept quickly grew to establishing a mechanism for existing non-profit agencies engaged in this work to communicate, build upon each other’s successes, and foster the growth of new agencies to help address the digital divide in their communities.
Thus, was the concept of PBDD born. I anticipate that this could be a huge undertaking, but with the support of those around me, and those who I have yet to meet, I believe that we can make a substantial difference in the world. It’s no small task, and I look forward to the next steps.