Five years after launching its GoodTogether® program, Sage Sustainable Electronics celebrates a milestone in its mission to connect community-focused organizations with the technology necessary to do their work.
Through the generous support of corporate donors, Sage has redirected more than $1 million in certified refurbished electronics to nonprofits and other groups.
This marks a significant step for GoodTogether, a grass-roots program aimed at closing the digital divide between those who have access to reliable information technology and those who don't — an inequality made even more glaring by the communication challenges resulting from the COVID-19 crisis.
"GoodTogether has always been a passion program," said Lisa Gunsauley, Senior Director of Client Engagement at Sage. "We do it because we know the value of technology for organizations and communities, and because we want to help them thrive. The fact that we have reached this incredible goal is just a testament to the good we can do – together!"
Corporate support from our customers has been remarkable, said Lila Appaya, who managed many of the nonprofit relationships in the program as Sage hit this milestone. "Without them, there is no GoodTogether."
Charles Schwab, Huntington Bank, NetJets, Thryv, SAIC, Chick-fil-A, and many other companies in Central Ohio and across the nation have contributed devices to the program. Sage sanitizes and refurbishes them and prepares them for the recipient.
Sage President Jill Vaské called the $1 million mark a watershed moment. "GoodTogether has realized its great promise," she said. "It's not a fledgling program anymore, but an impactful and valued contributor to our local and national communities. But we're not stopping. We're going to keep pushing hard for people to realize that their used-but-still-useful technology has the value that can change lives."
Some of the community and nonprofit organizations helped by the GoodTogether program include the following:
- Summerfield Waldorf School and Farm, Santa Rosa, Calif.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Summerfield Waldorf was forced to transition from an organization that actively tried to teach without technology to solely relying on it. "We were in a complete panic and really scrambling, as some teachers and many of the students did not have laptops at home," said Development Director Caryn Shapiro. The organization quickly received 25 laptops through GoodTogether. "On some level, I feel like this donation saved the high school," she said. "It showed the parents that we are adaptable and flexible, and it saved us a lot of enrollment costs. You can't measure in a pure dollar amount what it did for our school, but it really raised morale for our students, parents, and teachers."
- Laptops 4 Learning, Phoenix, Ariz.
"A lot of the students in this program are in the foster care system," Executive Director Brenda Powell said. "We focus on this population because they usually do not have a support system and have the lowest rate of graduation of any group of students. We also work a lot with veterans." Program participants typically have to work or partially pay for laptops donated by corporate sponsors, she said. But with the help provided by GoodTogether, Laptops 4 Learning provided computers free to individual students in need. "A young woman in our program had aged out of foster care and was not able to keep the laptop she was previously using at her foster home," Powell said. "She was panicked because she needed that laptop for school. She was so thankful when we were able to give her a laptop free of charge."
- Legacies of War, Washington, D.C.
As an organization focused on raising awareness and increasing financial support to clear unexploded bombs in Laos leftover from the Vietnam War, Legacies of War is extremely conservative about office equipment spending. As a result, their technology was weak and outdated. "It is costly to remove bombs in a foreign country," said Executive Director Sera Koulabdara. Thanks to a donation by Charles Schwab and the GoodTogether program's help, Legacies of War received five iPads, a projector, and a color printer. "We only had a black and white printer, so we had to make excuses about the poor quality of our materials to high-level politicians," she said. The upgraded technology allows the organization to show the effects of bombing with far more impact. "We are grateful that big organizations like Charles Schwab see the value of these assets for small nonprofits that don't need the newest models but still rely on technology to get their message out."
- Recreation Unlimited, Ashley, Ohio
Recreation Unlimited provides year-round programs in sports, recreation, and education for individuals with disabilities and health concerns. A donation of laptops and tablets by Huntington Bank "was a lifesaver and really couldn't have come at a better time," said Executive Director and CEO Paul Huttlin. "A lot of our expenses are for camper care, so if we don't have to spend money on technology, that's fantastic."
- Habitat for Humanity of Central Arizona
Twenty laptops donated by Charles Schwab were given to families who had recently gone through the program and did not have access to a computer at home or needed another computer. "One family with eight children only had one laptop to share among all of them," said Maribel Saucedo, Director of Family Services. "They received a computer and gave it to their daughter, who had recently graduated high school and was going on to college. It just so happened that it was her birthday the next day, so they wrapped it up and put a bow on it and gave it to her as a birthday present!"
- Every Woman Works, Atlanta, Ga.
"The GoodTogether program has literally saved lives," said Executive Director Stacey Howell. Her organization empowers women dealing with life challenges by providing them with the tools necessary to achieve financial independence, personal growth, family leadership, and a spiritual foundation through a curriculum of continuous education. "Our goal is to take women from dependency and make them self-sufficient," Howell said. A donation of 20 laptops from Chick-fil-A allowed the organization to contact the women they serve during the COVID-19 pandemic. "So many of the women are at risk, and the technology allowed them to stay in the program and stay on track."
About Sage Sustainable Electronics
Sage's mission is to make the world more sustainable by extending the life of electronics. Sage provides IT lifecycle services to businesses large and small, reducing data security risks and operational costs and increasing asset value. Through strategic asset management programs for technology donation, resale, redeployment, lease return, employee purchase, and recycling, Sage creates organization-wide benefits to businesses nationwide.
The Sage GoodTogether Program supports corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts by redirecting a portion of enterprise and community surplus to benefit various social services and reduce digital exclusion among low-income Americans. Sage TechBank is a community donations initiative under Sage's GoodTogether program, providing essential data privacy services to donors and community-sourced devices to people in need. For more information, call 844-4SAGESE or visit www.sageSE.com.