Saturday, December 31, 2005

Inspiration For The New Year

This will be my last blog entry for 2005. I'd like to end the year by posting an e-mail I received from a mother in one of Vancouver's poorer areas. Hopefully it'll make you realize how amazing it feels to be able to help families like hers, thanks to the incredible generosity of individuals & companies in the Greater Vancouver community - donating their computer equipment and volunteering their time & talents. Together we're able to turn on those proverbial light bulbs and empower these children to achieve anything they set their minds to.

To those who have already stepped up to the plate I offer a big THANK YOU! To those who would like to join the great team we're assembling, please write to YVRDigitalDivide@gmail.com. Let's make 2006 the best year this city has ever seen and show the world what makes Vancouver truly great!


Here's what she wrote:

My name is Annie. I read in the newspaper about what you are doing for families that cannot afford to buy a computer.

I am 41 years old, a single mother with 3 teens. I recently enrolled in the
Academy of Learning. I am taking the Business Management course. I am on a fixed income and cannot afford to buy a computer and was wondering if possibly you can put my name on your list of families.

I want to make a decent living for my family and that is why I am taking the business Management course. We live in a 1 bedroom apartment at the moment so with the 4 of us it is pretty crowded as you can imagine.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this letter,

Annie

P.S. I use the library computer when I can.


I wrote her back and then received this letter the next day:

Thank-you for answering my email in regards to the computer. My twin daughters are 17 years old and my son is 16 years old. All 3 of my teens are the ones that got me my email address. I recently enrolled in the Academy of Learning and took out a student loan but was put into the wrong courses. I have had no experience with computers until my daughters showed me how to get on messenger and look up things on the internet. I am taking up Business Office Skills starting January 3, 2006. I did have my phone on at home but decided to cut it off over the holidays because I get about $900.00 a month but $625.00 goes for rent. Then $75.00 for hydro. The rest goes to food. I was trying to put money away for a computer because I know it will help me with some of the things I need to know for my courses.

I just want to get a decent paying job so that I can once in awhile afford to do some things with my teens and move into a bigger place. But with what I get from my student loan at the Academy I cannot afford a computer. My teens will use the computer to help them with getting the information they need for the program they are in. My daughters are currently going to the Take Charge program and my son is in the Genesis program. I know they will all be using the computer for the work they are doing. My daughters have been accepted into the Chief Dan George centre but because of funding I heard it is on hold for awhile.

I have never been able to give my teens alot of things that their friends have and they haven't complained. Of which I am grateful that all 3 know that I am trying to do my best as I have been since they were babies. Yes I really do feel bad because they knew I wanted to put away the money for a computer but couldn't. Our holiday was spent just being together and we are a very happy family just having each other. When we read what you were doing we all thought that was the nicest thing someone could do for families. And we do really appreciate you taking the time to answer my email because we all decided together as family if I should email you. We may not have a lot of stuff but we have a whole lot of love and we make the decisions as a family the way it should be. I do so apologize for rambling on.

What you are doing is such a great thing. Would be so good if there were more people out there willing to help out others. I will be putting my phone on again in January sometime but for now all I have is a pay as u go.

Annie

4 comments:

Canadi-anna said...

What a great thing you're doing here.
Happy new year to you and all the best withn this inspiring plan.

Canadi-anna said...

Glad you dropped by my place with your info. I've put a link to you on my upper righthand sidebar.
Don't be shy about publicizing -- this is terrific. Sometimes technology (or lack thereof) can be a determining factor in a kid's education or an adult's motivation to upgrade their skills and improve their life.
This is no small thing you're doing here.
I was given a computer several years ago, soon after my husband and I split up. I had four little kids and I wondered what would I ever need with a computer.
It's amazing the difference it can make to one's life.
It has yet to profit me any (in financial terms), but it has certainly benefitted my kids' education.

Dusty said...

When I talk about your project with my friends in India - it does leave everyone in a state of shock. Guess, it was hard for people to believe that there are "needy" people in your country as well. I am so happy with the success of your project. Sometimes I do get disheartened with doing social work, poverty is a bottomless pit.... wish all people had the basic necessities of life. However, I shall end on an optimistic note, wish you a great new year (Have posted my fav photograph - check it out)

flythemig29 said...

I am really touched by the steps you are making for those less fortunate than us. I come from a very poor upbringing and I know I go overboard to provide for my family now. I hear my mother's voice in the voice of some of those you have helped.