Every month we do an update on our activities to let our donors and clients know the impacts of our work delivering the CFS+ program.
March can be no different, even though everything about March was “different”.
BC Tech listened to the words of Dr. Henry and closed our office on March 20th. This was not an easy decision to make because the week prior saw a big influx of applications from families and non profit organizations as they prepared for what a “stay at home” order means for many without access to technology. Our work has not been deemed an essential service by government, and yet we know how essential it is to many people.
We heard Minister Fleming say that ~7% of students don’t have access to technology at home. We’re looking for partnership opportunities to assist school districts and organizations support their families in need. It’s easier for us to get one order of 30 computers out the door than it is to get 30 orders of one and time is better spent refurbishing, rather than packing.
In the short time we had in early March, we are grateful to have been able to:
Provide 503 computers/laptops to families and organizations like Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, Lookout Aid Society, TELUS health care workers, and Handy Circle Resources Society.
March was totally different and has marked the start of a new way for society to live and virtually interact, and still we must find gratitude for all the good things we have:
Stay safe and healthy. Find gratitude. Stay at home.
February has come and gone so quickly, even with the extra day for the leap year! We’ve been plenty busy this month with the return of the TELUS Internet for Good Initiative.
With our third run of the initiative, we’re looking to streamline and improve our process. We learnt a lot from the first time and want to make it easier for families to order computers from us. The survey we sent out shortly after completing the program last time really helped us identify the struggles people encountered when ordering. We got tons of helpful feedback and are so grateful to the people who took the time to fill out our survey.
We also started working to improve and upgrade our workshop! We’re starting with the workbenches that technicians use. Our Technical Supervisor, Rob, has been hard at work custom adapting features of the workstations including a backboard for mounted monitors. One of the main goals is to clear up more table space to give technicians more room to work. We will also be adding a ‘maker space’ table in the workshop as the types of devices are changing as we transition from desktop computers to more laptops, tablets, and phones. Stay tuned for more info on the progress!
In February, we sent 308 refurbished computers and laptops to schools, non-profits, libraries, and Indigenous communities. Some of our top donors for this month were City of Burnaby, Tritek Business Solutions, Traction on Demand, Trev Deeley Motorcycles, and Canada Revenue Agency. Their donations have gone to helping some wonderful organizations this month such as MOSIAC, Aunt Leah’s Place, Canucks Autism Network, and ISS of BC Surrey.
Your Donations Matter
It’s time for the first blog post of a new decade! January has come and gone super quick and has been a great start to 2020 for us. After coming back from our holiday break, we welcomed 3 new technicians to our team and had an in-service with Focus Professional Services about working alongside people on the autism spectrum.
We’ve also improved the layout of our Marketplace and are providing weekly updates! You’ll now find more tech such as printers, projectors and other miscellaneous items schools are eager to get, as well as a better sample of some of the available computers (our warehouse is 8000 sq. ft. – so it is just a sample). Be sure to keep an eye out for updates and order quickly. Some tech items like tablets and MacBooks don’t even last a day on the Marketplace!
In January, we sent 351 refurbished computers and laptops to schools, non-profits, libraries, and Indigenous communities to some wonderful organizations such as Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, The Centre for Child Development, 411 Seniors Centre Society, and Thriving Kids Care Society. We’re happy to support them as they support their clients have better tech access and digital learning skills. A big thank you to some of donors this month including ActiveCo Technology Management, TELUS, and Canada Revenue Agency. I think we’re the only people who are happy with the CRA comes to call.
Saving the best for last – the BIG exciting change is that after 26 years, the Computer for Schools program officially rebranded as the Computer for Schools Plus, or CFS+ . The reason for this change is to better communicate what the program is about and how it serves people. We do more than just computers and we help more than just schools. We’ve been accepting all kinds of tech donations and have sent tech to non-profits, libraries, and Indigenous communities in addition to schools and its important to reflect that in the name and marketing.
December was a short month for us because we took a well-deserved break over the holidays! Everyone worked very hard to ensure all our orders were shipped out before we went on break.
We especially wanted to finish as many computers as possible for the families who applied through the TELUS Internet for Good Initiative knowing those computers were going to be a Christmas present! To date, we’ve provided 529 computers and laptop to individuals and families. We also sent out a survey to participants to learn some demographic data and how to improve future programs. The information learned helps us to demonstrate the impact these programs have amongst families in BC.
"My son is 10 and thanks to the computer, he is teaching himself 2d and 3d animation as well as some programming"
"The computer gave me freedom for education, the ability to explore new things and a sense of self worth"
To celebrate our holiday break, we took all the employees to Me-n-Ed’s Pizza Parlor for some team bonding over delicious food. It was a good opportunity for everyone to chat and reminisce about how busy we’ve been throughout the year.
In December, we sent 462 refurbished computers and laptops to schools and non-profits. Some of our top donors for this month were City of Burnaby, Transport Canada, and Canada Revenue Agency. Their donations have gone to helping some wonderful organizations this month such as Vancouver Community Network, Burnaby Neighbourhood House, Childrens Arts Umbrella, and Thriving Kids Care Society.
We also said ‘good-bye’ to Seong as he finished his work term with us, and look forward to welcoming William, Aidan, and Vincent in January.
Happy New Year!
Our executive director, Mary-Em, went to Victoria to give some presentations about our organizations and donation opportunities to various Federal Government procurement officers. She also attended the Decoda Literacy Solutions conference and let them know about how their member organizations can utilize our refurbished computers in the community. We’re hoping to expand on our clients by reaching out to more organizations outside of schools like libraries to let them know more about us. If you know a non-profit organization that needs some new equipment, please share our good work with them – we’re here to help!
Aaron, one of our CFS interns, operated a Try-a-Trade booth at an event hosted by Skills Canada as part of National Skilled Trade & Technology Week. It was a great opportunity to give youth a chance to get some hands-on work with technology. The kids really liked pulling the computers apart and reassembling them. It was pretty neat to watch their faces react to seeing what the inside of an i-Mac looks like, it’s not something many people have seen!
The deadline for families to participate in TELUS’ Internet for Good Initiative came on Nov 30. To date we have shipped 524 computers and laptop to individuals and families. We’re looking to wrap up the remaining orders in the next few weeks and get them out before the holidays! We hope the computers make a family’s holiday great.
This month we’ve shipped 338 refurbished computers and laptops to schools and non-profits. Some of our top donors for this month were Canadian Revenue Agency, General Electric Renewable Energy, and TELUS. Their donations have gone to helping some wonderful organizations this month such as MOSIAC, Umbrella Health Coop Clinic, and ISS of BC.
Your Donations Matter
This October we brought back our “Scary Tech Facts” to share on social media. It was a lot of fun to create some educational posts to talk about the dangers of e-waste. If you missed out on them, you can find them on our Twitter feed
Aaron, one of our CFS Internship technicians, got a big learning opportunity this month by helping manage our booth at a Computer Using Educators conference. He experienced speaking with attendees, explaining how we refurbish tech and how schools can use equipment for classroom learning as well as tech clubs. As part of his CFS Internship, Aaron works on a wide variety of duties such as dismantling and fixing computers, installing operating systems, and wiping data. He’s also taken more of a leadership position through managing the Client Services role while Rob has been on extended vacation.
We’ve made some great progress as we near the end of the TELUS for their Internet for Good Initiative. So far, we have given 347 computers and laptop to individuals and families. Everyone needs a computer to be able to properly participate in today’s digital society so it’s great that we can be part programs like these to help people.
This month we’ve shipped 375 refurbished computers and laptops to schools and non-profits. Some of our top donors for this month were Capilano University, Metro Vancouver, TELUS, and Connor, Clark & Lunn. Their donations have gone to helping some wonderful organizations this month such as ELL Welcome Centre, Aunt Leah's Place, and ISS of BC.
Our Executive Director, Mary-Em, attended the National Computers for Schools meeting held in Yellowknife NWT. While there, we got a teaser about the new CFS+ identifier and logo which will roll out soon. We’re very excited for these changes because they better demonstrate the different ways we help people through refurbished tech. We refurbish more than computers, and support organizations than just schools. Our national program name needs to reflect this change from our inception in 1993.
The TELUS for their Internet for Good Initiative kept us quite busy during the summer and the phone was ringing constantly. To date we have distributed 277 computers and laptop to family homes. It’s been lovely to hear from people participating in the initiative, telling us how much they’ll benefit from their new tech and how it will affect their families, especially as many have kids in school.
We also shipped 508 refurbished computers and laptops to schools and non-profits. September means back to school, and we gave 353 computers to schools and students. Some of our top donors for this month were Telus, Raymond James LTD, UBC, and Aldergrove Credit Union. Their donations went towards non-profits like MOSAIC, Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, and Children's Arts Umbrella.
July was a month with beautiful weather and packed with orders coming in.
To start off the month, we held our annual BBQ and Annual General Meeting. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t nice that one day, but the BBQ was a great opportunity for our incoming and outgoing technicians to get better familiarized with each other and take a much-appreciated break from work.
Our board had their Annual General Meeting, where they had opportunity to review Financial Statements, and the 2018/19 Executive Year End Report. We had a good year!
Our renewed partnership with TELUS for their Internet for Good Initiative has kept us very busy. It’s been lovely to hear from people participating in the initiative, telling us how much benefit they’ll be gaining from their refurbished computer or laptop and how it will affect their families. Many families need a computer to prepare to head back to school in September so the timing has been perfect.
This month, we shipped 508 refurbished computers and laptops to schools and non-profits. Giving 353 computers to schools, providing new learning opportunities to explore coding and doing research projects. We also shipped 108 computers and laptops to some non-profits like Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, Canucks Autism Network Society, and Pathfinder Youth Centre Society
June was a very busy month for us as we are transitioning and preparing for a big project!
We’re excited to report delivery on all the computers under the Connecting Families Initiative. Since November 2018, 2200 computers have been shipped including 375 in June. As one activity winds down (for now, the third release is expected in the fall!) we can get to work on a new project.
The exciting new project is our renewed partnership with TELUS for their Internet for Good Initiative. They are providing eligible participants with heavily discounted internet from TELUS and refurbished computers provided by BC Tech. With the new initiative getting underway, we are busy ramping up our production to meet the new influx of demands that will be coming through the program.
This month, we shipped 702 refurbished computers and laptops to schools and non-profits. Giving 524 computers to schools, providing many classrooms a chance to better enrich their student’s learning experiences. We also shipped 91 computers and laptops to some non-profits like AWARE Whistler, Canadian Mental Health Association, and the BC Parks Foundation. The chart below shows how busy we were during the first quarter of the fiscal year!
We are also cycling through and introducing new technicians as part of our CFS Internship program. It’s always sad to see our old technicians go but we wish them the best and hope their time here has provided them with valuable experience and skills.
Your Donations Matter
This month we shipped 1040 refurbished computers and laptops to schools and non-profits. Giving 682 computers to schools, providing many classrooms a chance to better enrich their student’s learning experiences. We also delivered 213 computers and laptops to local non-profits like Dixon Transition Society, MOSAIC, and ISS of BC. We’re glad to be able to help non-profits because they do amazing work to help our local communities. Our support to the Connecting Families initiative continues as we’ve received some really good feedback on the impacts its making in these homes.
At the end of May, we held a donor recognition event at Telus Garden. This event was important for us because we were able to personally thank and present awards to some of our largest donors.
The awards presented were:
Telus – 25 Year Community Partner
Telus has been donating and supporting since 1993. As a founding partner, they have donated equipment valued at $3.2 million.
BC Hydro – 25 Year Community Partner
BC Hydro has donated $3.5 million worth of computers over the years.
Capilano University – Education in Action Award
Capilano University has been donating since 2008 and have provided $500,000 in donated equipment. These donations are especially valuable because they donate iMacs which are rarely given.
Coast Capital Savings – Youth Leadership Award
Since 2003, Coast Capital Savings has donated $500,000 worth of computer equipment. Last year they provided our single largest corporate donation of 700 computers in October!
Metro Vancouver – Environmental Leadership Award
Metro Vancouver has donated since 2008 and over $500,000 worth of computers.
PCL Construction – Business Leadership Award
PCL Construction has been donating since 2015 and provided $40,000 worth of equipment.
Our Executive Director, Mary-Em Waddington, spoke at the event thanking donors and highlighted some of the stories we hear because your donations matter. By receiving refurbished technology, it helps to create positive impacts on different communities and give them new opportunities. The best quotes were from the Vancouver Island University students who wrote in their thanks last February and was the angle picked up by the Burnaby Now.
“this will assist me greatly in my studies saving me having to transport my school PC home on weekends for homework”
“this computer is such a big help as my daughter broke my laptop and I can’t afford to fix it”
“With no computer at home I found it very difficult to complete assignments – this will be a huge help!”
“It’s initiatives like this that help former youth in care feel loved and proud”
Your Donations Matter