The pandemic drastically changed the lifestyle of my household. I am the father of amazing twins who work hard in school to earn good grades and excel in their subjects. When schools shut down and instituted online studies, dread and fear arose in the pit of my stomach. I didn't know how I was going to ensure my twins got the education needed to advance to the seventh grade. Several years ago, due to ever-increasing cable costs, I discontinued our cable TV and internet services. Suddenly, I needed the internet more than ever before for my children’s education.
The following week, I received information from my twins’ school that Charter Spectrum was offering free internet to homes with school-age children. Within a week, we had free internet for 60 days. We were thankful, but the anxieties weren't over: electronic devices were still needed for my children to connect with their teachers and to complete school work on time. In the fall of 2019, my twins were students in the SERCLC program, and they received two laptops from HTI, which made the remote learning transition seamless for them!
I am also an UBER driver. With social distancing, driving people was no longer an option for the safety of myself, my passengers, and my family. With the shutdown of public libraries, I had no way to file for unemployment. Because of the laptop donation from HTI, I was able to file for unemployment benefits and other social programs. Due to the sheer number of people applying for assistance, there were days when I was constantly knocked out of the system while trying to file. Often, I was up at 4 am trying to get online during non-peak hours, and the level of frustration was beyond explanation. The ability to go online when needed is such a huge value- I'd even say it's priceless! Thank you HTI, Debbie Boyd, and all who made this laptop donation to my family possible. Our amount of gratitude is immeasurable!