Desert Financial Credit Union is helping to bridge the “digital divide” that has kept needy families without laptops or internet connectivity from being able to participate in online learning.
Between now and Sept. 25, Desert Financial is holding a student laptop drive fundraiser to benefit Laptops 4 Learning, a local nonprofit that provides quality refurbished laptops to students in need.
The credit union will match donations to the nonprofit up to $20,000.
Desert Financial, the state’s largest credit union, was founded by teachers more than 81 years ago.
As a tribute to that legacy, the credit union has long supported teachers and education.
“Many people have heard of ‘food insecurity’ where kids don’t have enough to eat,” said Jeff Meshey, a Chandler resident who is president and CEO of Desert Financial Credit Union.
“But since schools have gone virtual, having a laptop is now among basic needs for kids,” he said. “We’re happy to encourage our own members, community and team to do their part to help ensure all children in Arizona have the technology they need to thrive. It’s one way we can help break the cycle of poverty.”
Brenda Powell, executive director of Laptops 4 Learning, said her organization last year had approximately 350 students in need of laptops and they it was able to provide laptops. This year so far, 477 students have come to the nonprofit for help.
Powell said foster children in particular have been adversely affected by school closings and the shift to online learning.
Donations can be made at desertfinancial.com/LaptopDrive.