Amazing way to get seniors involved in Technology: Episode 71
April 24, 2017
Today Gary Knight came on the show and told us about San Diego Futures Foundation (SFFF). This organization helps seniors and low income individuals get computers at a reduced rate.
SDFF also teaches their recipients how to use the technology, which is often a hurdle in their target populations.
Gary Knight is the Executive Director of the San Diego Futures Foundation (SDFF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit established to improve lives in San Diego through technology. SDFF provides equipment, software, training, services, and technical support to San Diego nonprofits, small businesses, and disadvantaged residents. SDFF is working to bridge the digital divide in San Diego, and helps low-income households, people with disabilities, and seniors.
Prior to joining the San Diego Futures Foundation, Gary Knight was the president and chief executive officer of the San Diego North Economic Development Council. The council is a coalition of public and private entities whose main objective is to attract, retain and develop business in North County. It has almost doubled its membership since Knight took over in 2004. As president, Knight pushed for improved transportation options, greater educational opportunities, and reliable/affordable power supplies. Gary also provided strong support for the proposed desalination plant in Carlsbad and the new Palomar Hospital in Escondido.
Gary sits on a number of Boards, Committees, and Advisory Groups all across San Diego.
The organization not only helps those over 65 (and on Medicare) or those people of any age who are on Medi-Cal (California's version of Medicaid) or Cal-Fresh (California's version of Food Stamps) but it also helps anyone volunteer. Seniors can get a computer for little to no cost and then learn how to use it. SDFF gets seniors involved in technology.
This Technology program works by partnering with:
* Connect to Compete
* Designed for kids who are on the Free Lunch program
* Low-Cost Internet
* Low-Cost Computers
* Groups of people who want to volunteer by setting up computer labs at schools
* SDFutures.org which is part of SDFF and provides computers and IT support to non-profits
* Girls who Code, a school program that encourages girls to go into technology fields
Are the computers FREE? No, because of some issues in the past, the computers are not free. These high-end computers start at about $100. Some people do get donated computers depending on the availability, need, and other factors. These low cost and free computers help get seniors involved in technology.
SDFF re-formats the donated computers according to Department of Defense Standards. They also send unusable computers to a salvage company that meets their security and disposal requirements. Additionally, their staff undergoes background checks. Donors can feel good about donating their computers without having to worry about their data getting into the wrong hands.
Hospital re-admittance rates are about 30% compared to only about 10% when the senior has something to look forward to. Working on a project or volunteering gives them something to look forward to.
Gary told us a retirement lifestyle story about a man who was in a wheelchair because of a leg amputation due to diabetes. He rolled up to Gary and exclaimed, “You saved my life!” That was interesting to Gary since he had never met him.
He explained that he had received one of their computers at a very low point in his life (right after his amputation). The gentleman had loved to work on cars and attend car shows before he lost his leg but was now confined to a wheelchair.
By using the computer to join chat rooms and view car events online, he felt invigorated again with a newfound purpose in life. By the time he met Gary, he had started a web site for car buffs where they shared stories that made him feel ...