In 2012, a little girl named Franny Millen came home from school and asked her parents several deep and powerful questions. Born out of those questions now stands Eliminate the Digital Divide (E2D), a non-profit agency that supplies underprivileged students with laptops for educational use.
The E2D Model relies on the generous donation of older and unused corporate laptops from companies like Lowe’s. E2D then hires, trains and employs Charlotte Mecklenburg High School (CMS) students through its Re-Image CLT Program to refurbish and re-image these laptops to place back into the hands of disadvantaged CMS scholars.
Just a few months ago, E2D handed out its 10,000th laptop with the help of community sponsors and volunteers. Raveiyanna and Tymiere Springs received the 9,999th and 10,000th computer.
Their grandparents, who were with them when they received the laptops said the siblings are straight-A students and have a love for music and technology.
“I’m glad they have computers they can use for school and that they can use to look up information they need for their work.” said Cassandra Springs, the Springs’ grandmother. “I’m very proud of these two and glad they can have a computer of their own.”
Along with the Springs family, other parents like Mikki Ervin were in attendance and were so thankful for the donated computers.
“This is a great opportunity for my daughters. I’ve been meaning to get them computers but haven’t been able to afford it. I’m thankful for the opportunity to buy a high quality, affordable computer. I wish I could give back what you guys are giving to me,” Ervin said.
The vast majority of recipients also participate in the government-funded SNAP program, which gives families benefits so they can purchase food and bridge nutritional gaps. E2D also partners with Habitat for Humanity to supply home recipients with computers and WI-FI for local Habitat homes.
Of the 10,000 computers distributed to the community, Lowe’s has provided an estimated 8,000 of these digital solutions. Close to 15,000 homes are still in need of a laptop to support academic success.