A Look Back at Chain of Contributions Sparked by Spring2ACTion 2020
March 15, 2021
Spring2ACTion 2020 Began a Chain of Contributions That Got Students Online During COVID-19
CORE’s 2020 Spring2ACTion campaign focused on the immediate need of getting computers into the hands of our students as soon as possible after our in-person classes were paused on March 13, 2020 due to the pandemic.
Spring2ACTion’s annual online giving campaign allowed us to quickly pivot to this all-important objective. Funds were used to purchase refurbished computers until we re-established a steady stream of donated computers to be refurbished. We met our adult students one by one in the parking lot outside our office and handed them free laptops they could keep – for the purpose of accessing online learning and a variety of pandemic related social supports.
Our Spring2ACTion story shows how important Alexandria connections came together to support our new imperative of getting computers to students.
An early $3,000 matching grant from Alexandria’s Mason Hirst Foundation showed all important support for Computer CORE’s mission.
Garrett Bliss, an Alexandria middle school student who wanted to renovate computers and give them to people in need, contacted our office to help refurbish computers. Our old computers were past help and nobody wanted them, but he insisted until we dug out a stack of old desktops and laptops. He fixed them – and convinced us to break the myth that our students didn’t want desktop computers, effectively reopening the pipeline to significant donations and distribution of both desktops and laptops.
Brand-new individual donor, John Siegel of Columbia Capital in Alexandria, made a surprise $2,500 donation to CORE’s S2A campaign. A follow-up phone call indicated that our computer giveaway mission resonated with him and he challenged us to quantify how many computers we needed and to “think big.” John played a big part in CORE exceeding our initial goal and continuing to raise the bar.
Next, Transurban made a generous in-kind donation of 20 high quality laptops allowing us to equip two classrooms formerly filled with desktops that were now in the hands of students at home.
Then a new Alexandria volunteer, retired computer hobbyist Lonnie Henley who became our Lead Refurbisher, single-handedly repaired over 300 more computers for our students by the end of 2020, while also building a refurbishment team. Lonnie and the team continue to refurbish computers for free distribution to our students who need one.
In a year of shortages, isolation, and distance – we thank so many who reached out with innovation, hope, and caring!
Spring2ACTion 2021 begins soon, stay tuned for details about this year’s campaign!