Dec 10 21

Supporting the Community – Brenda’s Story

Tranelle Maner

Imagine having a condition that requires you to have support on a daily basis, but COVID prevents you from having that support? Brenda sustained a traumatic brain injury at the age of 23 when she was involved in a car accident. Now in her 50s, she is recovering from substance misuse and has been clean for eight years. With all the challenges she faces daily, Brenda is very thankful for the Chromebook she received from HTI. It has literally helped to save her life.


When the pandemic occurred Brenda was unable to attend her NA meetings in person and she didn’t always have the technology available to her to attend virtually. The computer has given her the ability to attend NA meetings daily and meet with her sponsor whenever she needed or wanted too. In these tough times Brenda having her resources is vital to prevent isolation and increase communication for her Wellness Recovery Plan. HTI provided Brenda with a computer. Brenda is very thankful and forever grateful!

This is how old laptops lead to new opportunities

Sep 29 21

Juniper Level: Refurbishing an Old School For New Opportunities

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A century ago, two men with a shared dream of increasing educational opportunities for Black people came together. The results of their efforts are felt in and around Raleigh and throughout the nation. Their stories could not have involved more different origins. Still, they fused a common purpose in building Panther Branch, also called Juniper Level, and almost 20 other schools throughout the Raleigh area.

In his work Up From Slavery, renowned civil rights leader and educational pioneer Booker T. Washington described the first instance he heard of a school for Black people. He shared, “one day at the coal mine, I happened to overhear two miners talking about a great school for coloured people somewhere in Virginia.” As he strained to hear, Washington said he heard about “opportunities . . . provided by which poor, but worthy students” could work to pay for tuition, board, and supplies.”

“As they went on describing the school, it seemed to me to be the greatest place on earth, and not even Heaven presented more attractions to me at that time than the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in Virginia,” Washington recalled.

To build the school system he dreamed of, Washington partnered with Julius Rosenwald. Rosenwald was a Jewish entrepreneur and investor born during the most violent period of the Civil War in Springfield, Illinois. Raised by the owner of a small clothing store, Rosenwald developed what some called “a genius for retail.” His natural talent led him to invest in the innovative Sears and Roebuck company, becoming its president at 33.

Rosenwald’s instincts for philanthropy matched those of his entrepreneurial prowess. His generous nature coupled well with the idea that money donated should never be money wasted. Rosenwald once mused, “I can testify that it is nearly always easier to make $1,000,000 honestly than to dispose of it wisely.”

Rosenwald’s commitment to humanity stemmed from his devotion to his Reform Judaism faith. Uneasy with the great wealth that accompanied success and responsibility, he turned to his rabbi. Alongside teachings from his rabbi, Rosenwald studied Moses Maimonidies’ ideas on the eight degrees of charity. As a result, he became determined to share his wealth and wanted to do it in the most effective manner possible.

At the opening of the 20th century, education for many people of color meant more than pursuing career opportunities. For example, Jim Crow laws made participation in voting contingent on one’s ability to read and write. In addition, testing standards intentionally imposed disadvantages on people of color, requiring them to understand complicated text while white counterparts had to comprehend child-level literature.

Rosenwald approached Washington after reading his landmark autobiography. Coming from a historically oppressed community himself, Rosenwald reached out to Washington to work together to solve the mass undereducation of black youth in America.

Washington and Rosenwald resolved to help young black youths break down barriers through education. Together, they would build more than 5,300 “Rosenwald schools” throughout the rural South. Rosenwald believed in only making large donations when other partners had substantial “skin in the game.” An equal division of finances from himself, local government, and community combined to fund the schools.  

Rosenwald schools targeted middle school-aged children, providing vital education when obligations to household work started to demand their time. Washington and Rosenwald’s work provided an essential service in preparing young men and women to desire more for their lives than working manual labor jobs.

By the time Juniper Level opened in 1926, Rosenwald schools had sprouted across the nation. North Carolina boasted the most of any state with several built-in and around the Wake County area. 

As Shaw University alum Ella Perry recently told Walter Magazine, the community constructed the school. She explained, “I listened to my dad talk about how the men in the community built the school.” Timber for the building came from her uncle’s farm. Many pitched in to contribute to making the school a local centerpiece. Across the country, similar efforts made Rosenwald schools the pride of local communities almost everywhere they were found. 

The mission of the Rosenwald schools ended in 1956 when Chief Justice Earl Warren led the United States Supreme Court to strike down segregated schools. As children integrated across the country, school systems built for black students disintegrated as they joined their fellow students at established white schools. 

Many students like Ms. Perry kept fond memories of their time in schools like Juniper Level even as the nation made the right decision to strike down school segregation, one of the more odious aspects of Jim Crow laws.

Today, the building may no longer serve as an active educational facility, but it has lost none of the love and admiration from the community. Just as when built nearly a century ago, the local community has come together to raise money, donate supplies, and a lot of elbow grease to restore the building to its original splendor.

HTI is proud to support the efforts of Juniper Level Missionary Baptist Church as it leads the way in restoring this community’s crown jewel. Just as we refurbish old laptops for new uses, this building can help the church expand its mission to help young men and women achieve their goals. We proudly make a Google Chromebook donation to assist in these efforts.

Together we can make what was old and possibly forgotten a new pillar of hope and success. 

Jun 19 21

HTI Celebrates Juneteenth

Tranelle Maner

This year, HTI proudly celebrates Juneteenth. While the holiday has recently garnered a lot of attention, the celebration dates back to 1865. On June 19, Major General Gordon Granger traveled to Galveston, Texas, ordering the last remaining slaves to be freed.

We celebrate this holiday to recognize the sacrifices made, plus the obstacles endured and overcome by so many Black people.

Additionally, HTI’s mission emphasizes liberating people from environments of struggle to better take advantage of opportunities to grow and thrive. Our efforts fuel the aspirations of people through the support of organizations that support them. We honor the ideal of Juneteenth by working to build more resilient and prosperous communities.

Please join us as we celebrate Juneteenth through the perspectives of a few sharing their impressions of this important legacy. Finally, we wish to express our appreciation to the North Carolina congressional delegation and everyone who supported making Juneteenth an official national holiday!

Take a look at our social media and YouTube to view the collaborative efforts of individuals who believe in the importance of this holiday and both illuminating the need to continually recognize the need for change and equality within minority communities.

Mar 22 21

Providing New Opportunity in the Homeless Community

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Last year, the globe was faced with hardship when COVID-19 struck and forced many out of work and home. Part of HTI’s mission is to provide technology to those who are underemployed or unemployed looking to restart their career. 

On February 10, HTI made a donation to Oak City Cares in order to help facilitate their initiative creating educational life and employment opportunities for those who are near or currently homeless.

OCC told HTI this donation would aid them in providing on-site life assistance classes to those they serve, which will include educational and employment skills taught by outside professionals. 

Oak City Cares  was created as a hub for at risk and current homeless individuals and families, providing service professionals, as well as medical providers to help create a stable and secure path to success for those who are involved. When classes are able to begin, HTI is excited to see how these new classes create opportunities for the individuals served.

If you would like to become part of the journey to success for a current or at risk homeless individual or family, please consider donating to HUBZone Technology Initiative. Visit the donation section of our website for more information on how to donate monetary or technology resources to aid our mission.

Mar 9 21

The Salvation Army: Increasing Employment Opportunity

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At HTI, our lives are always positively impacted when we are able to support and give relief to others. An organization with a similar mission is The Salvation Army. 

The Salvation Army is a Christian church and an international charitable movement dedicated to meeting human need. The organization currently has a worldwide membership of over 1.7 million, consisting of soldiers, officers and adherents collectively known as Salvationists. Founded in 1865, TSA has provided food pantries, summer camps, job training, veteran services, drug rehab and more to communities around the globe.  

.In January, HTI provided five Google Chromebooks to the Salvation Army in Raleigh, NCafter Emergency Shelter Case Manager Frank Baldiga reached out for support. 

His goal with the donations is to serve homeless families by providing . individuals technology access to gain employment via work from home jobs, enabling them to progress toward permanent housing of their own. 

Our mission as an organization is to aid and facilitate access to technology. Every time we are able to provide laptops to individuals, organizations and communities, we are strengthening the workforce and reducing employment rates in HUBZone areas. 

HTI is excited to hear about the future success of those who will benefit from this donation. If you would like to make a difference in the lives of charitable organizations and the people they serve, please consider donating to HTI. You can do so by visiting our webpage at www.hubzonetech.org/donate.

Mar 2 21

Bridging the Laptop Gap for Students and Families in Raleigh, NC

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After saying goodbye to such a challenging year where many families faced uncertainty, anxiety, and hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic, HTI is grateful to welcome 2021 with hopes of shining light on the lives of many individuals. As the needs of many in our community continue to grow, so does our desire to make a difference and help those who strive to do the same. 

HTI recently provided five Chromebooks to Bridge the Gap in January, after learning how our initial donation in 2020 made such a significant impact in the lives of the kids served by the organization. 

Bridge The Gap Mission is a nonprofit organization located in Raleigh, NC. They are dedicated to improving the quality of life for low-income individuals in their community by providing for their immediate needs such as clothing. Bridge The Gap also offers educational programs, fundraising activities and has developed a virtual teaching hub for Wake County students with the mission of offering tutoring to families.

In October 2020, HTI supported Bridge The Gap by donating five Google Chromebooks to their organization. According to one of BTG’s directors, the laptops provided digital access to students without a computer at home. The donations have served as a valuable resource helping them receive the education they’ve always craved. 

Our organization is excited to receive continued testimonials on how the donations are benefiting the community and look forward to building a stronger relationship with Bridge The Gap.

Dec 20 19

Finishing 2019 off Strong

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Donations!!!! Finishing 2019 off strong and giving others the resources to make obtainable goals in 2020
Dec 2 19

HTI Highlights: The Meaning of FUNdraising

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As a small 501C3 non-profit organization, it is often challenging to gather the amount of laptops needed to fulfill the amount of requests received and to spread the word about what we do. One way in which we generate funds and tell the community about HTI is by fundraising. HTI highlights the meaning of ‘FUN’ in its FUNdraising!

On October 5th 2019, HTI sponsored its first fundraiser at Shuckers Oyster Bar in Wake Forest. The support was astonishing both from a business sponsorship perspective and potential donors who attended the event. Local businesses were able to donate $100 in and have their business name and logo presented on a banner gracing the event. Sponsors also received advertisement on our company website and social media posts. It’s what HTI is all about…giving! 

A fun afternoon of music, amazing food and performances enjoyed by all. And of course our guests did not leave empty-handed, as all participated in a 50/50 raffle. The sweet voice of President and CEO’s Matt Raydo’s daughter Sloane, graced the guests with her heartfelt rendition of Annie’s ‘Tomorrow’. Video testimonials of first-hand accounts of the many community members from Boys and Girls Clubs, Raleigh Day School and other entities being helped by HTI was shared. Laptop recipients spoke about their needs for technology that were long unmet until donations from HTI arrived. These Google Chromebooks, they stated, have had many benefits; the ability to reach short term goals, setting attainable long term goals of increasing educational worth and job placement. As you can imagine, these testimonials touched everyone’s hearts. Our goal is to continue fundraising in 2020 to keep moving forward in helping the underserved in our North Carolina communities!

How can you help HTI? You can help spread the word about who we are and what we do, donate working laptops and make monetary donations at our website www.hubzonetech.org > Donate Laptops or Donate Funds. All donations are tax-deductible. You can also share an organization and contact name for us to reach about receiving a large donation of working laptops on our website under Contact Us. Please stay tuned for future FUNdraising events and dates so you can participate.

We thank the community, we thank the individuals, businesses and for those in need. Without you we would not have this marvelous opportunity to serve you and that’s our sole motivation!

Aug 16 19

A Short Video Testimonial

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Project Access Shares About HTI and the Importance About Technology Access

Shelby Rothstein from Project Access shares in the video above about the importance of laptops and what HTI’s contribution will mean for their program.

This is what your support and collaboration can provide to so many people! If you would like to get involved, check out our FAQ page https://hubzonetech.org/faqs.html  for any answers to questions you may have, and go to our donation page to reach out https://hubzonetech.org/donate_laptops.html 

Old laptops create new opportunities!

-Haley

Jul 22 19

Why Do Laptops Matter?

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The “Homework Gap” and More from the Research: Our “Why”

So you may be thinking, why laptops? Why is HTI centered around providing laptops to communities. In this age it seems there are technology devices everywhere. And they mostly are… because they are needed… for everything.

Think about it. Online is the way we do everything. We can pay our bills online, grocery shop online, and for a few out there reading this, even met their significant others online! It’s an interesting world we live in. And whether we appreciate the technological advancement for it’s convenience, or grow increasingly frustrated to the decline of true face-to-face interaction, it has become an important part of our world that many are able to partake in.

Unfortunately, that does not always include everyone. According to the Pew Research Center, as of 2016, 46 percent of lower-income households do not have a laptop or any computer device. On the other side, middle income households and higher income households that do not own a laptop or any computer devices, are only 13 or 3 percent respectively.

You may be wondering if this is a big deal, considering smart phones do exist. Unfortunately as our society becomes more and more dependent on devices for every day tasks, it seems that smartphones are not capable to work for everything, all of the time, especially for families.

Take school for example. More and more, schools are using online programs to use for homework. There are even some studies that point to 7 out of 10 teachers assigning homework that must be completed online. That’s a lot of children that have to deal with online homework, yet Pew Research found that 1 in 5 students do not have access to a computer or internet to complete his or her homework. This is contributing to the phenomenon known as the “Homework Gap.”

Another example we use a lot around here. Job applications. Have you ever filled one out? All of the questions and specifics, it can take hours of work! Imagine not being able to do that on a computer.

There is so much out there, but these are some of the biggest areas of needs in our communities. This is a part of our “why.” We plan to share more and more of our why on this blog, so keep a look out.

We would love to have you partner with us by helping get more computers into the hands of people in need.  If you have used laptops sitting at home you would like to donate, if your company or corporation is looking to upgrade their current devices, if you would like to spread the word or donate cash, we would welcome you gladly.  Check out our FAQ page https://hubzonetech.org/faqs.html  for any answers to questions you may have, and go to our donation page to reach out https://hubzonetech.org/donate_laptops.html Old laptops create new opportunities!

-Haley