Upgraded your electronics on black Friday? Donate your old electronics to a great cause

housring-families-cropped-compressedDid you buy a new laptop, cell phone or other electronics on Black Friday?  If so, start the holiday giving season early by donating your old electronics to InterConnection. Your donation will help low income families and charities around the world gain access to technology.

Americans dispose of over 400,000 mobile devices every day, yet only 25% of that e-waste is being recycled. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that more than 4 million tons of e-waste ends up in landfills each year and causes countless health and environmental issues.

The holiday season is the perfect time to ensure that these high-tech electronics make a positive impact. If you upgraded your electronics with Black Friday deals, remember that your outdated electronics at home can serve a greater purpose helping someone in need get connected. Rather than trading in your phone, donate it to InterConnection and make a meaningful impact on someone’s life instead.

It’s free, easy, and safe. Here are a just a few of the many good reasons to donate:

Donating Computers Helps the Greater Good
Your donation helps others get connected. Each week at least twenty low income families and 40 charities receive refurbished computers from InterConnection.org.

The Environment will Thank You
Electronics reuse is more earth-friendly than recycling. In fact, reusing computers is 20 times more energy efficient than recycling.

It’s Safe and Secure
All data is destroyed with industry leading software and hard drives are crushed.  Devices that can’t be reused are sent to certified recyclers.

It’s Tax Deductible
By donating to InterConnection, a 501c-3 nonprofit, you can add it to your annual giving reports.


Mail it in: Print the image below or click here to get your pre-paid USPS shipping label.  Just put your device(s) in a box, attach the label, and mail it.

Drop it off: We have over 30 convenient drop off locations in the Puget Sound area.  See www.interconnection.org/dropoff

Schedule a pickup: Businesses with five or more computers can schedule a free pickup by calling (206) 633-1517

QUESTIONS? Email info@interconnection.org or call 206-633-1517 for more information.

National Award for Technology Matching Fund Grants

digitalinclustion2Seattle’s Community Technology Program has been honored by The National League of Cities, Next Century Cities, and Google Fiber with one of their inaugural Digital Inclusion Leadership awards.

The award recognizes the City’s Technology Matching Fund grant program as a leading best practice in fostering digital inclusion. Winners were chosen on the basis of a program’s ability to provide training, access, and hardware to a diverse range of participants, at low cost, with proven results and community engagement. The awards were established to celebrate the cities that are leading programs or empowering community-based organizations to tackle barriers to Internet adoption, and to encourage leaders in the public sector to get involved in digital inclusion by sharing best practices.

Over the past 18 years, the Technology Matching Fund program has enabled 153 community organizations to build their capacity to provide technology and internet access, digital skills training, and electronic civic engagement. The majority of City funding for the program has been allocated from cable franchise fees, and has reinvested over $3.9 million in community based projects. The City’s 2015 Technology Matching Fund projects, selected in July 2015, will collectively receive $470,000, enabling increased digital equity for more than 14,900 residents. Fund recipients are recommended by the City’s Community Technology Advisory Board and approved by the Mayor and City Council. The program has served as a model for other cities.

“This program is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure all Seattle residents can participate in our increasingly digital society,” said Michael Mattmiller, City of Seattle Chief Technology Officer. “This award is the result of strong commitment and partnerships for digital equity between our community organizations, Mayor Ed Murray, City Council, Community Technology Advisory Board, Department of Information Technology and the many volunteers and supporters working to help bring digital inclusion to all residents.”

The award was presented to the City of Seattle’s Department of Information Technology’s Community Technology Program on Thursday, November 5, at the National League of Cities’ Congress of Cities event in Nashville, Tennessee.

For more information on the Technology Matching Fund and the Community Technology Program in the Department of Information Technology, visit http://www.seattle.gov/tech/TMF.

Seattle picked for Code for America fellowship program

Code for America announced new partnerships with six local governments for the 2016 Code for America Fellowship Program.

The governments are: Seattle, Washington; Kansas City, Missouri; Long Beach, California; New Orleans, Louisiana; New York City, New York; Salt Lake County, Utah.

“We are truly excited to partner with an organization so renowned for its work enhancing digital government. This work will aid our city’s ability to help those most in need.” —Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle, Washington

The Code for America Fellowship pairs local governments with teams of mid-career, civic-minded technologists for one year. Governments and fellows selected for the 2016 Fellowship develop digital approaches to delivering public services that:

  • improve access to health and human services in Kansas City, Missouri and New York City, New York,
  • safely reduce incarceration in Salt Lake County, Utah and Seattle, Washington, and
  • promote economic development opportunities in New Orleans, Louisiana and Long Beach, California.


“We are pleased to have such an innovative partner working with us to connect officers, service providers, and those in need quickly and efficiently. This is another example of technology driving positive change for all.” —Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, Seattle Police Department

Seattle tech advisory board elects 2015 officers

At the November meeting of the City of Seattle Community Technology Advisory Board (CTAB), the members elected Amy Hirotaka as Board Chair and Jose Vasquez to be the Vice Chair for 2016. The Board and City staff thanked the 2015 Chair Nourisha Wells and Vice Chair Joneil Sampana for their dedicated service over the past year. Both will be continuing to work with committees in 2016.

CTAB is also recruiting for three positions to start in 2016.  Please send your letter of interest and resume to communitytechnology@seattle.gov, by December 4.

Read more about the board members and the work that they do here: seattle.gov/cttab


New tech? Do this with your old stuff

‘Tis the season to be festive and prepare for a new year.  During this time of the year,  you may receive new technology equipment:  a computer, a phone, a tablet, or something else electronic.  You may decide at that point to get rid of your old device. Do it properly!

Old technology equipment should be recycled and not placed in a landfill.  Older technology can be used by someone who has never used it before.  Organizations, such as InterConnection, can be a great place to take your old technology where it can be properly recycled or reused.

Ready to Work: A new program for Seattle’s immigrant and refugees

Ready to Work participants celebrating completion of their summer 2015 classes

Ready to Work participants celebrating completion of their summer 2015 classes

Many immigrant and refugee Seattleites must improve their English language skills in order to find a good quality job.   In order to address this need, the City of Seattle’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs has launched an innovative program called Ready to Work (RTW). This program will serve over 125 participants in its 2015-2016 pilot phase.

RTW’s instructional model is built on best practices in the field of adult education and workforce training and goes beyond traditional ESL classes. It offers contextualized English Language Learning enhanced with integrated partnerships and wrap around services. It offers participants and their families community-based, integrated case management & navigation that seamlessly connects them with needed support services.

RTW’s students are provided contextualized ESL instruction that accelerates their transition into employment.   The program facilitates and accelerates their English Language acquisition and academic skills through instruction focused on English for work and training.  Participants are provided job placement services and are connected with Seattle employers and quality jobs.

With the support of the Department of Information Technology,  each participant in RTW is provided with a laptop with which they learn to use the internet, email and other basic computer skills.

RTW is currently recruiting for their winter session.  Classes start on January 4 at NewHolly (ESL level 3) and on January 11 at Asian Counseling and Referral Services (ESL levels 1, 2).  Please contact Brianna at 206-695-7517, briannab@acrs.org, or Getu at 206-805-8950, getuh@acrs.org for more information and to enroll.