Donations needed to fill back-to-school tech gaps

With school set to resume in a few short weeks, one business is lending a hand to students across the province who don’t have reliable access to computers, laptops or the internet at home.

London Drugs is teaming up with BC Technology for Learning Society, and is asking for donations of gently-used laptops, computers, monitors and keyboards that can be restored and given to as many students as possible.

According to the province, between March and June, 23,000 students received technology loans in order to learn from home during COVID-19.

“Whether there will be a need for some kind of hybrid remote learning in the fall or not, the fact that 23,000 or more students needed to borrow computer equipment…speaks to the need to provide permanent technological devices so these children can have the same learning tools as their peers, and be prepared to work remotely if necessary in the coming school year,” said Mary-Em Waddington, executive director of BC Technology for Learning Society, in a press release.

Waddington said the society has the capacity to restore and refurbish thousands of computers, adding British Columbians can bring their used devices into London Drugs in August and September.

The society will then match the device with a child who needs it.

However, devices for donation will face some criteria, including no cracks in the screen and still having its power cord.

Devices that don’t meet criteria will be recycled through London Drugs’ What’s the Green Deal program.

“London Drugs has responsibly recycled customers’ old computers and electronic devices for many years,” said Nick Curalli, IT, vice-president of technology solutions with London Drugs, in the release.

“By partnering with the BC Technology for Learning Society, we are immensely happy that restored devices will end up in the hands of children who need these technology products to learn and thrive.”

Laptops are the most in-demand, according to London Drugs, however, desktops, tablets and mobile phones will also be accepted.

Families and students in need of donated computers can apply directly through the BC Technology for Learning Society website.

“Not having access to technology is isolating for thousands of children in our province,” said Waddington.

“Hopefully with awareness of this Tech Drive with London Drugs, more people will understand this is a need that exists in our community and there is an opportunity to help. Donating your old technical devices is an easy, inexpensive way to greatly support disadvantaged children and youth stay connected to their schools and improve overall learning.”

More information about the Tech Drive and accepted devices is available at London Drugs’ website


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