News & Updates

Call for donations to support the ACCESS Tech program on Earth Day 2022 (April 22)

Apr 13, 2022 | News & Updates

Supporters from Hamilton and McMaster University are invited to assist those in need in our community by donating tech devices to the ACCESS Tech program. Donations are welcomed at McMaster University during their collection event on Earth Day, April 22, 2022. Community members are particularly in need of laptops, iPads/tablets, desktop computers, and mobile phones less than 3 years old.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased our reliance on technology and fundamentally changed the way we work, learn, and connect with each other. Racialized community members and families have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and face multiple barriers to accessing supports from the education or social service systems. Community organizations working with racialized community members, many of whom are newcomers and immigrants, have highlighted the need for devices and technology support. The ACCESS Tech program is working to get devices in support in the hands of those in need, and we are inviting our community to support us in this initiative.

Who is involved?

The ACCESS Tech program is led by coalition of partners including Empowerment Squared, Hamilton Community Foundation (HCF), McMaster University, and a broader network of organizations including Afro Canadian Caribbean Association Hamilton, Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion, Immigrants Working Centre, Munar Learning Centre and Refuge: Hamilton Centre for Newcomer Health.

Perspectives from participating organizations:

Munar Learning Centre: “The pandemic has highlighted the digital divide in our communities. We had to quickly secure devices for marginalized families served by Empowerment Squared and Munar Learning Center to allow students to participate in school and learning online. We believe that the ACCESS Tech program will be beneficial in addressing the digital divide experienced by the participants that both organizations serve.”

Afro Canadian Caribbean Association Hamilton: “ACCA is pleased to be collaborating with Empowerment Squared to serve the seniors in our community. We are dedicated to continuing to serve this demographic during this challenging time for seniors as a result of the ongoing pandemic and ongoing advancement of technology.”

Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion: “During the pandemic, HCCI has witnessed the lack of electronic resources available to Black and racialized families across Hamilton first-hand. The ACCESS Tech program offers a collaborative approach to addressing this issue by bringing community organizations together to serve the needs of Black and racialized families.”

Refuge: Hamilton Centre for Newcomer Health: “We are pleased to partner with Empowerment Squared and other local agencies to facilitate access to technology devices and support to those who need it most. It is important that agencies serving these groups act as conduits to lessening the impact that the lack of technology resources has on the communities they serve. We are excited by the impact this initiative will have on our communities and the opportunity to reduce the environmental footprint of technology by repurposing it.”

How can McMaster University and Hamilton communities help?

Faculty, students, staff, and members of the broader McMaster and Hamilton communities are invited to drop off tech items in person. No registration is required.

DROPOFF TIME AND DATE: Friday April 22, 2022 between 10:30 am – 4:00 pm

DROPOFF LOCATION: In front of Burke Science Building, McMaster University

PREFERRED DONATIONS: 4th-generation Intel Core i5 (2014) computers, monitors, mice, keyboards, laptops as well as any recent (less than 3 years old) mobile devices.

Facility Services at McMaster University, in partnership with University Technology Services, will sanitize donations to ensure data is secure. For more information or any questions/concerns please email acctech@mcmaster.ca.

If you are an individual or company looking to donate devices to the ACCESS Tech program after the April 22nd collection date, please contact Faid Adil, Coordinator of Strategic Initiatives at Empowerment Squared, at accessprogram@empowermentsquared.org or (905) 746-5164 for more information.