Short version for the busy: We are raising $1,500 to buy five Chromebooks for refugee newcomer families. Want to help? Donate here.

Long version:
So I’m on the subway and I overhear two young women talking.

WOMAN 1: Oh my god so I dropped my phone yesterday and it totally broke, the screen is toast and it won’t even turn on.

WOMAN 2: That totally sucks.

WOMAN 1: It’s a drag but I’m kind of excited, if I sign up for another year on my contract they’ll, like, give me an iPhone 7 PLUS, which is awesome.

And I’m thinking about people who come to Canada with the clothes on their backs and not much more, and about what happens when THEIR phones break, or their computers stop working. There’s no new contract, no new phone. No safety net.

I’m thinking about being in the middle of Delhi or Moscow or Egypt with just a smattering of the local language and the sudden utter loneliness of no connection at all to my family and friends.

But what if someone gave me a Chromebook, and I suddenly had it all back?

We’ve raised $935 of the $1500 needed to buy Chromebooks for newcomer refugee families. Why are we doing this?

My mom lived below the poverty line for most of her life. But she took every extra penny and gave it to someone who needed it more than she did. For as long as she lived, she looked for opportunities to help and she took them.

So I try very hard to do the same.

My partner Todd found a Facebook page connecting new Canadians with people giving away much needed household belongings. We had a Chromebook that had been sitting in a drawer for a year, so we posted it. It was immediately claimed, and here’s how it’s being used:

“Our newcomer family LOVES the computer you gave them. The kids all made up their new Gmail account names and felt so fancy. It’s the prime homework station – and I’m pretty sure Spongebob Squarepants in Arabic is being watched on it by the littlest one. It means so much.”

And I thought, good lord. This Chromebook that I bought on a whim and then tossed in a drawer is serving an entire FAMILY. I felt like an enormous chump, but then I thought – hell, my family hardly uses the OTHER Chromebook, so I posted it too.

Within ten minutes it had been claimed. And then seven more messages came in, asking if it was still available.

And wow, did I hate saying no. So I thought about what my mom would do.

Well, she’d figure out a way to say yes.

So I got in touch with a friend who’s been working with refugee newcomers for a year and he graciously agreed to distribute Chromebooks to families in need. My partner Todd will be providing tech support and giving tutorials.

And now I’m asking you: will you toss a few bucks into the bucket?

I’m hoping to buy five Chromebooks, for five families who will use them to connect with far away family and friends, to do homework, to watch Spongebob Squarepants in Arabic, and who knows what else!

Please take a moment to hit the Share button as well – one share multiplies fast, and the more people who see this fundraiser, the more likely we are to meet our goal.

Click here to donate.