Wednesday, October 14, 2015
The internet has changed the world in ways we don't realize. Not yet anyway. The obvious things are, well; uh...obvious. But what isn't so obvious is the immediate impact it has on any number of demographics. For low income school kids anywhere from the 3rd grade and upward, Reglue has worked for a decade, trying to bridge the gap between those that have and those who have not.
A computer that is.
I'm extremely wary these days, about using clichés. It's getting harder by the day to find a phrase or a way to replace the cliché "The Digital Divide".
But cliché or not, that is our only mission in life. We give computers to kids that normally, could not afford a computer in their home. But you know that already don't you? Many of you anyway. You are the people that make what we do possible. Whether it's just operating costs or emergencies like we are facing now, Reglue knows who you are...
But what you don't know is just how important you become when we walk into a child's home. I think it's time that you did know. When you support what we do, you are no longer a nameless, faceless donor. Unless you ask to remain anonymous.
You are the person holding the key to that child's future in your fingers. And that child now knows who you are. Not by name if you so wish, but in deed and in occupation, in accomplishments and within the open source world...this child knows someone specifically took control and made this computer possible for them.
This is what we tell the parents and the kids, while we are getting their computer set up. We tell them who you are. What you do, and most importantly; why you do it. You are the one that make sure this kid has every opportunity to learn and strive for the highest achievements possible. We give them a computer that You provide. We give them the tools they need to succeed and tell them who is responsible for making that possible.
Who Are You?
You are a successful, award-winning author and You are a server/system technician. You go to work every day and when you get home, you gather your family around you and share the evening's meal. Then you spend 4 hours, writing the next book...one of several you've already written, but the drive to write the next book isn't something you can ignore. It won't let you sleep. It won't let you concentrate on anything but fulfilling that discipline to write. Once you put your kids to bed, that's when you do your writing. 18 hour days are nothing new to you. They are the norm.
You are a truck driver, you are a server administrator, and you are someone deeply concerned about this next generation coming in behind you.
You are a dad, a grand father and a husband. You do whatever it takes to care for your family. You've found work in your field and it makes you happy to be back among the smells and the quiet hum and the vibrations you feel at your very core. But the whole job thing...it can get complicated.
If your contract doesn't get renewed, you may well see billows of exhaust swirling in the air. Next year you may find yourself pulled over, a state trooper watching over your shoulder. And you audibly cursing the horribly bitter cold on I-84, backing onto your snow chains in order to run the Cabbage in January. But what ever it takes, you do it.
You are a consultant. You are someone who has already done the hard stuff, the technologically dangerous stuff and you did it well. You've written books about it. People want to pay you so they don't have to go through what you have endured in your profession. You are a partner, two of you feeding the horses and livestock before it gets too dark. You keep an eye to the weather...to watch for rain that may flood your pens. Those furry and feathered things are safe. You are the one person that makes them so.
You are a retired professor, retired by years, not by decision. You are the geek
You are so many more than this, but even if I don't take the time to talk about all of you here, I make sure I take the time to talk about you out there. The place where I am plugging in all the things that connect to make a computer. While showing them how to use the word processor, I tell these kids about the men and women who helped make this computer possible for them. Whether you are a Server Technician or a Pharmacist's Assistant, I tell them your name and what you do. I tell them how their contribution to Reglue makes all of this possible. Some of these kids will set foot on other worlds. The computer that came to be in their lives could may well have been the spark that set their course for Mars, Europa and beyond. You will never know how much your contribution channelled that intelligence and drive in the Right Direction.
In 80% of the cases, I never report back to you personally truck driver, professor, geek, healer, author...so I am doing so now. I want you to know this. The child who receives a computer from Reglue knows at least one of your names...most often, they know several. Some of your faces are on the screen when they first boot their computer. Every time, in every case. A Reglue Kid knows your names. And they thank you.
Because it's important. These kids need to know what it means to pass it along, to pay it forward, to stop and help someone opening a door. However it happens, we teach our Reglue Kids the importance of community. Without a certain community, this kid would not be getting this computer. So from hundreds of these kids over the years, regardless of your name or what you do, I am supposed to say:
Thank you. For giving us the means to navigate the stars. To begin our life's journey.
blather and mumbling provided by Ken Starks at 12:58 PM