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Group helps close digital divide

Local News

The Shore Foundation is dedicated to donating computers to people in need to help close the digital divide.

Two of The Shore Foundation founders, President Josh Geise and Vice President Chance Wright, discussed the organization’s mission and its origin Wednesday during our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC conversation.

“Down in Virginia I was a volunteer for a non-profit called the Virginia Star (VASTAR),” said Geise. “It was linked to all of the high schools in Virginia and I was a program mananger for it. So Brian Martens and I both volunteered for this organization and we both came up to RIT. I really wanted to expand it because I thought it did a great thing, and do the same thing, which is donating computers to people in need. Through that I met people in the fraternity that wanted to help, so people like Chance Wright here and others, and throughout the years I did a couple of small giveaway events working with Virginia Star but it wasn’t really working out and making the impact I wanted, so we all got together – Brian, Chance, Charlie Henle and myself – and we decided to found The Shore Foundation a little over a year ago.”

The Shore Foundation is already making a difference. “Last May we had a giveaway event where we gave away 12 computers to a Hillside group of students, and then this last December we did an attempt at a Guinness World Record which we’re just finishing the paperwork up for, so that was a 550 computer giveaway,” said Wright.

Geise said community partners are helping The Shore Foundation with its mission – including RIT, Greater Rochester Enterprise, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, Hillside Family of Agencies and Rochester Prep Schools.

The founders have big dreams for the organization. “We just moved into a new space,” Wright said. “We’re slowly starting to fill it up. In five years ideally we want to be getting computers to everyone in the Rochester area that’s eligible and then start going to Buffalo, Albany, and looking to places like Detroit or possible satellite offices across the country – and ideally to everyone in need to bridge that digital divide and provide people who need a computer a computer to be successful in life.”

There is a form on the group’s website – theshorefoundation.com – to donate a computer. You’ll also receive a tax receipt for the donation. Organizations interested in receiving a computer from The Shore Foundation can also reach out to the group through its website.

To learn more about Greater Rochester Enterprise visit RochesterBiz.com.

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