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Cleveland non-profit in high demand amid COVID-19 pandemic, needs help to fight digital divide

Having a computer and access to the internet are something most people take for granted

CLEVELAND — Having a computer and access to the internet are two things most people take for granted. But for many local families, what is normally considered a luxury is vital during these times of social distancing.

The non-profit, PCs For People is working overtime to fight the digital divide.

“We’ve been moving as quick as we can to get as many computers as we can into the community,” explains PCs for People (Ohio) Executive Director, Bryan Mauk.

“With everything else going on they shouldn’t have to worry about being able to connect to the world.”

The organization’s mission is to connect low income individuals with technology which includes desktops, laptops, affordable internet and tech support.

“We take it for granted and we think that everybody has the internet but actually about one in five people in Cleveland do not, which is a staggering amount,” he says.

With schools and libraries closed, students are forced to learn virtually from home.  Adults are urged to file for unemployment online or need to use the internet to find jobs during this time.

Desktops start at $30 and laptops start at $50.  Mauk says they’ve been able to fund raise some grants and donations to help people who can’t afford that.

With the increased demand, not only do they need computer donations but monetary help as well.  The organization is also looking for volunteers to help refurbish the computers.

For more information on how you can help or to learn more about drive-thru drop-offs click here.

Click here for more coronavirus coverage.

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