New Harbor Capital Launches Service Project to Address Chicago’s Digital Divide

June 24, 2020 / Firm Updates

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(Updated September 4, 2020) – New Harbor Capital is excited to launch a service initiative to bridge Chicago’s digital divide and provide computer devices to families in need. New Harbor is collaborating with two nonprofit organizations, Kids First Chicago and Comp-U-Dopt, in its efforts to source and distribute computer devices to families in need across the Chicago area. As of September 4th, New Harbor has sourced nearly1,200 computers for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) families.

To-date, approximately 15,000 CPS families are still lacking computer access at home. With the Chicago Public School system officially moving to a fully remote schedule this year, ensuring children and their families have computer access at home is of the utmost importance. If these 15,000 households do not obtain a computer, their children will inevitably fall further behind, amplifying the disadvantages they already contend with. For more information on Chicago’s digital divide, visit Kids First Chicago’s resource here.

New Harbor is working to source and distribute computer devices through a refurbishment and distribution partner, Comp-U-Dopt. The devices will be distributed to disadvantaged CPS families who have no means of access to remote instruction. Simultaneously, Kids First Chicago is working to address the broadband infrastructure and access issues city-wide in collaboration with the City of Chicago and several significant private funders.

The New Harbor team is working to solicit both monetary and in-kind (device) donations between June and the end of August 2020, prior to the start of the new school year. Donated devices are sent directly to Comp-U-Dopt for refurbishment and distribution. Monetary donations will be used to fund the refurbishment costs and to purchase used devices.

“Having a computer at home is an essential learning lifeline for children in the CPS system,” said Tom Formolo, Partner at New Harbor Capital. “We are grateful to be able to assist in providing this access to 1,000 local families in need who would otherwise be at a significant disadvantage heading into the new school year.”

To learn more about this initiative, view the logistics below or contact Hayley Formolo, New Harbor’s Marketing Manager, at hformolo@newharborcap.com.

Ways to Get Involved

  1. Donate a Device: If you have desktop or laptop computers that are less than 5 years old that are no longer in use, you can donate them by completing this form.
  2. Donate Funds: It costs $50 to safely and securely refurbish each donated device, and $200 to purchase and refurbish a used device. If you don’t have a device to donate, please consider making a tax deductible monetary donation via New Harbor’s Donor-Advised Fund here. No amount is too small! Every employee of New Harbor has personally made a financial contribution to this effort.

FAQs

How do I know the information on my donated device is safe?

Our refurbishing partner Comp-U-Dopt takes data security very seriously and has been doing this work for over 13 years. All computers that enter their warehouse are accessed only by authorized staff members and hard drives are wiped using a program called Kill Disk which is an industrial grade disk sanitation software (http://www.killdisk.com/). They follow the Department of Defense standard 5220.22-M method which securely overwrites all data with a minimum of three passes.  Any hard drives that can’t be utilized are physically destroyed.

What kinds of electronics do you take?

Any laptops, desktops, or monitors (along with any power cords and cables) that are less than 5 years old are accepted. Broken devices and/or devices with missing chargers and cords are still accepted!

How does shipping work?

Devices would need to be shipped directly to Comp-U-Dopt’s location in Tinley Park, Illinois.  Our team will help coordinate shipping logistics. For large quantities of devices, we may be able to organize access to discounted shipping rates in collaboration with Comp-U-Dopt.

Can I get a tax receipt?

Within a few days of your donation, you will receive a thank you letter and tax receipt from Comp-U-Dopt indicating devices donated but not device value (in accordance with tax rules).  All cash donations are tax deductible, and a receipt will be provided to you by National Christian Foundation.

About Kids First Chicago

Kids First Chicago (K1C) is an education nonprofit that works to ensure that every family and child in Chicago has access to a high-quality education. Their work focuses on empowering parents to identify, navigate to, and advocate for quality public schools for their kids. Then, they work directly with city and district leadership, using parent input to shape education policy to better support families. K1C provides transparent and rigorous education analysis to families, educators, and policymakers alike to inform data-driven and inclusive decision-making about the future of Chicago’s PK-12 public schools. Kids First Chicago offers free enrollment workshops, research and data analysis on Chicago public education, and direct family and community outreach. For more information, visit kidsfirstchicago.org.

About Comp-U-Dopt

Comp-U-Dopt has been providing technology access and education since 2007. Founded on the belief that all children deserve equal access to tools and opportunities, we’ve delivered over 100,000 hours of technology education and distributed over 23,000 refurbished computers to youth and families in need. The technology we distribute includes donated equipment from corporations which has kept over 120 tons of e-waste out of landfills. In response to the COVID19 pandemic, we’ve increased our hardware distribution to help kids keep learning. The computers are the families’ to keep and 100% free of charge. Families also receive online tech support and information regarding reduced fee or free internet access.  In just three months, we are on track to distribute 11,000 computers nationally through our computer distribution drive-thru program. To learn more, visit www.compudopt.org

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