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PCs for People help get computers in the homes of those who truly need them!

EDWARDSVILLE, Illinois, February 15, 2021– The Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois Education Committee has partnered with a non-profit new to the Southwestern Illinois Region, PCs for People a 501(c)3, that helps get computers in the homes of those who truly need them.  Due to the increase in remote working, e-learning, telemedicine, online ordering, applying for jobs, and many other activities have caused significant demand and a need for computers in homes. These computers can be life changing for individuals right here in our community that are our neighbors, friends, and family.

“We want to welcome PCs for People to Southwestern Illinois and the St. Louis region!  This amazing organization operates in many large metropolitan cities around the U.S. and now has set-up a retail and warehouse operation in Belleville, Illinois.  This location will be able to coordinate computer donations and serves as a place underserved citizens and students can select computers. PCs for People’s history of changing people’s lives and enhancing the quality of life because almost everyone has to file electronic job applications, unemployment claims, schedule telemedicine visits, work remotely, and participate in e-learning for their children,” said Dr. Ronda Sauget, executive director and CEO of the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois.

PCs for People distributes refurbished corporate, business, and donated computers and updates them to Windows 10, with very low-cost, unlimited internet access.  These computers are already helping the people in Southwestern Illinois that are students, underserved populations, elderly, and veterans.  These computers are allowing individuals to be connected to the world of internet communications.

“We are honored to be a part of this initiative to bridge the digital divide especially when we depend on computers so much now a days.  I am especially excited for the girls who have access to learning materials, so they are able to connect with the classrooms and their friends as a result of these computers.   It doesn’t take a ton of light to cast out darkness and hope is being able to see that there is light despite of all the darkness.  We are so happy to provide these families with the hope they need to succeed,” said Loretta Graham, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois.

PCs for People has been successful with this effort in many cities across the U.S. and has connected over 450,000 people to internet and computing devices. The State of Illinois Office of Broadband has committed to facilitate the donation of 10,000 computers to PCs for People Metro East, but they have set a goal of sourcing a total of 25,000 computers in their first year to meet the significant need right here in our community, and they need our help to meet that goal. PCs for People is NAID AAA compliant to wipe clean all data off computers and recertify them for reuse.

“We are excited and proud that PC’s for People has chosen Belleville as their metro east home. This organization is a great fit for Belleville’s generous and entrepreneurial culture, and we welcome them to our community.  Our public library recently announced a partnership with them to serve as a donation and pick-up site.  I believe this organization and the many partnerships it has already formed will make a difference in the lives of our residents who struggle with computer access,” said Belleville, Illinois Mayor Mark Eckert.

In addition to distributing computers via events throughout the Southern Illinois region, PCs for People will also be opening a retail store at their Belleville location in the coming weeks. While operating traditional business hours, PCs for People is purposed to be a resource for individuals who have technology concern, need computer repair while also providing digital literacy education.  These unprecedented times have demonstrated a greater need to ensure individuals have access to the technology they need to remain connected.

“The Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce welcomes PCs for People to Belleville.  We look forward to seeing the positive impact they will have not only in Belleville but in the surrounding communities.  Now more than ever will their valuable resources help those in need,” said Wendy Pfeil, president and CEO of the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce.

Knowing the importance of staying connect, PCs for People expanded their eligibility requirements and started accepting students’ official school schedule as proof of eligibility for the low-cost computer.  This new requirement is to support our schools, who have publicly opted for remote and/or hybrid learning models. The requirement states: School age students, who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in school closures, remote and hybrid learning models can provide their official school schedule, however, it must have the student’s name, enrollment and/or current school year along with parent/guardian’s name and address printed on it as well as matching identification.

“We are so excited to be in the Southern Illinois and Greater St. Louis area, as it is important to us to ensure those with technology needs have access. With a one computer in and one computer out model, PCs for People guarantees that all donated computers will go back out into our shared community,” said Dr. Jaison K.D. McCall, executive director for PCs for People.

“To continue to develop a pipeline for these used computers in the near future, so they can be refreshed for people who truly need them; we need the community’s help,” said Dr. Sauget.  “Great work is being done, but even more PCs need to be donated to bridge the digital gap.   This will give everyone an opportunity for sustainable income and enabling educational learning for all.”

If you would like more information about PCs for People on how to donate or receive a computer, please visit their website at www.pcsforpeople.org/illinois/.

The Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois is a member-based, economic development corporation representing Southwestern Illinois. The Council works to unite business, industry, government, education and labor for economic growth in Southwestern Illinois. These effective partnerships serve as a driving force behind successful economic development efforts throughout the region.

 

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