Comcast Sponsors Computer Literacy Workshops at Mary's Place
Last December, Comcast Washington donated $250,000 in technology resources to Mary's Place. In addition to monetary donations, they also held a community clothing donation drive, organized by the company's Women's Network and Young Professional employee group. The clothing drive resulted in the donation of fifty boxes of clothes! The technology resources supported new computers, internet connectivity and updated hardware and software for computer labs at Mary's Place. This generous gift provided the resources for a series of computer literacy workshops to help families build confidence with their computer skills. So far, there have been three workshops, which began in early June and will continue throughout the year.
For workshop attendees, familiarity with technology can range from beginner to novice. For many non-English speaking families, getting comfortable with a keyboard is half the battle. Those guests have an opportunity to improve their typing abilities, a skill they can ultimately add to their resumes.
Tech-savvy volunteers facilitate the workshops and familiarize attendees with job application sites, how to use search engines, resume formatting, and tools like Google Maps to track their bus routes.
Each workshop attendee receives a free Chromebook, courtesy of Comcast! Volunteers and staff know that guests can use these resources to achieve their employment and housing goals and that having a Chromebook of their own will give families more opportunities to improve their skills and find a great job. Furthermore, obtaining these skills and having full access to their own technology allows guests at Mary's place to manage their finances by opening bank accounts and tracking their expenses.
John, an attendee of the Computer Literacy Workshops, shares his experience, "We've been at Mary's Place for two months. What’s holding us back has been identification. Now that I have this laptop, maybe it will be easier, I can get in contact with the California DMV, and they can send it here. It will be easier to apply for a job and look for other resources for daycare and things that are hard to do on our phones. The laptop will help us out with those online things."
We are so grateful to Comcast and our volunteers for sharing these computers, their skills and their expertise with families who are excited to learn more about using technology to build financial stability!