Editor’s note: During this unprecedented time, we’re highlighting the individual acts of kindness from our global seller community. Now through May, we’ll share a story about one of our sellers on how they’re paying it forward in our Mini Stories column.
With schools closed due to COVID-19, eBay for Charity seller human-I-T is working to ensure students without access to a computer or internet connection can continue their education from home. The California-based nonprofit is distributing thousands of laptops and setting up high-speed internet access for local students, so they can keep up with their studies virtually.
“We have had requests from dozens of school districts for over 13,000 laptops in just the past month, and our team is adapting to meet this need as quickly as possible,” said Allie Bussjaeger, human-I-T’s director of impact and sustainability. “Last month, we were able to deliver over 4,000 devices to low-income families, and we are not planning on stopping any time soon.”
A student using his refurbished laptop at home.
Based in Long Beach, California, human-I-T is committed to bridging the digital divide by providing individuals with the tools needed to succeed in today’s online age. By sharing technology resources, including computers, low-cost internet connection and digital literacy training, human-I-T helps provide individuals with access to education, telemedicine, job opportunities and more. Now, in the face of a global pandemic, demand is higher than ever before.
“There has never been a moment that put a spotlight on digital inclusion like this,” said James Jack, the nonprofit’s chief innovation officer and co-founder. “It makes it extremely apparent, especially when you're talking about students being able to pursue their education.”
The staff at human-I-T are determined to help as many families as they can, and they are already making an impact. Families are writing in to share how their new computer or internet connection has changed their lives:
"It has been a huge help to my daughters since they can now log into their school accounts. They tell me how it's just like the Chromebooks they have at school, so they easily go to their Google classroom, Google docs, and Google slides — all the resources they need to access in class. They also finish things faster because now they don't have to write essays by hand. They can just type them! Thank you so much. This has been a huge blessing to our family."
A staff member at human-I-T working to refurbish a donated laptop.
Stories like these from students and families are a testament to how important the work human-I-T is doing to distribute laptops and to help close the continuous learning gap. For the nonprofit, they also are a “moment of happiness for our team and community,” Allie said.
This Earth Week, human-I-T will be listed as the featured nonprofit at Give at Checkout for any eBay shoppers checking out using PayPal. By donating at checkout, any eBay shopper can help to transform e-waste into opportunities to promote digital inclusion and access for all. Shoppers can also buy a Gift That Gives Back (a direct charitable donation) from human-I-T ranging in value from $10-$50 to help deliver an online literacy class, help connect a family to wifi for one month, or to help connect a student with a computer.1
Since 1995, our purpose has been clear: to empower people and create economic opportunity. We’re committed to helping our sellers during this difficult time.
For more eBay news and updates related to the coronavirus outbreak, please visit our seller community center. For information on government support for small businesses in the U.S. and abroad, visit eBay’s Government Relations site at eBayMainStreet.com/covid19.
1 Give at Checkout and Gifts That Give Back are only available on desktop, mobile web and Android app.