CTN recently received a $100,000 grant from Metta Fund to support a vital new program for seniors in San Francisco. Can you help us raise match funding?
Tech Allies is a partnership with Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly (LBFE), an organization whose mission is to provide companionship and support to isolated seniors. Volunteers visit and befriend some of LBFE’s seniors (85 percent of whom live alone) who do not or cannot get out much. CTN will train those volunteers to help their new elderly friends not only to explore the wonders of the internet from home but also to get a broadband connection.
By 2020, seniors will be nearly 23 percent of our city’s population, and the need for such programs will grow as their numbers grow. Isolated adults report 65 percent more depression than other older adults, and therefore Tech Allies is designed to reduce the sense of loneliness many seniors feel.
During the two-year Tech Allies program, 75 seniors will benefit from the tutelage of the volunteers and will learn some or all the following skills.
- Using online conference tools, such as Skype and Hangouts, to connect with friends and family
- Internet searching to find news, health and welfare information, entertainment, local social activities, and educational opportunities
- Online banking and shopping
In addition to the Metta Fund, University of California, San Francisco, is also on board. The university will conduct an evaluation that will provide CTN and LBFE with valuable data about the impact of programs like Tech Allies. We know that the program will help seniors tremendously, but having hard data will help us make the case for continuing Tech Allies beyond the two-year pilot.
Another supporter of Tech Allies is a student at University High School in San Francisco. MC, pictured here with me, is an incredible student who was able to get a donation of five iPads for the program. We will be using these to test the curriculum, and our aim is to equip every participant in the program with a free device.
Will you join MC, UCSF, and Metta Fund in helping make this a successful program? Do you work for a Bay Area company that would like to donate cash, laptops, or tablets? All donations are tax-deductible, and in return we promise to deliver the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from supporting a great cause!