Kansas City, MO - PCs for People announced today that as of June 1, 2020 Kansas City nonprofit Connecting for Good officially became a PCs for People organization. The newly formed partnership will combine the unique strengths of both organizations to promote digital inclusion and heal the nation’s digital divide.

 This is a pure partnership, it will lead to a better service and quality for the community we serve. - Tom Esselman former Connecting for Good CEO, current PCs for People Kansas City Executive Director

While COVID-19 has recently put the spotlight on access to technology, it’s become apparent that individuals and families alike need both a computer and reliable internet service at home.  That joint imperative is precisely what brings the two organizations together.

 Connecting for Good, founded in 2011, has always made it their mission to establish Wi-Fi networks throughout Kansas City so that no one can be denied access to the internet.  “We want to make sure everybody has a chance to get connected,” Esselman said, highlighting Connecting for Good’s primary role in combating digital inequality.

Over time, Connecting for Good has evolved from simply creating Wi-Fi networks to developing programs in education, digital literacy training, and workforce development.  Esselman insists that that sense of community isn’t going to go anywhere.  “We’re still the same people doing the same thing in the same building,” Esselman noted.  “Being part of PCs for People is going to help us do more and do better for our current relationships.” 

Connecting for Good, now a PCs for People organization, will be using their warehouse space to expand e-waste recycling with the highest standard of certification for data sanitization (NAID AAA Certification). Computers that are in good condition will be refurbished and made available to income qualified individuals and nonprofits at an affordable price. 

Of course, Connecting for Good isn’t the only beneficiary in the new partnership. The partnership, which includes a 38,000 sq. ft facility in Kansas City’s West Bottoms, will allow PCs for People to deliver a certified IT asset disposition service to corporations and government entities across the region. This expanded footprint will greatly increase the number of computers collected and therefore families connected in Kansas City and across the US. Coupled with  Connecting for Good’s existing efforts in digital literacy and  bringing Wi-Fi connectivity to cities where broadband infrastructure is less available, this becomes a scalable and sustainable digital equity presence. 

The biggest payoff of the new alliance, Esselman says, is being able to sustain this work at a greater scale long into the future.  

The partnership took our original mission and provided for us and for the community a path toward sustainable impact -Tom Esselman

Companies that are interested in recycling retired technology with PCs for People, email recycle@pcsforpeople.org.