Posted by Akhtar Badshah
Senior Director, Global Community Affairs
We’ve been extremely pleased and inspired by the tremendous response to our online competition, 7 Ways to Change the World, which we launched last October along with Microsoft Windows 7. The competition asked people to share their ideas on how personal computers can help nonprofit organizations make a greater impact in their communities. More than 130 videos were submitted by local and national nonprofits, each providing a creative and heartwarming demonstration of the power of the PC to help change the world.
With so many excellent entries, it was incredibly difficult to choose just 7 winners, each of whom received a new PC running Windows 7 and a $7,000 grant to help implement their ideas:
- American Red Cross-Dallas Area Chapter produced a humorousvideo demonstrating how the snap, shake and sticky features of Windows 7 could help the organization be even more effective in fulfilling its vital responsibilities for disaster relief, fire response, and service to military families.
- The Bremerton, Washington, branch of Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound produced a winning video that introduced Windows 7 as a new club member and demonstrated how it would enhance club programs, helping the organization overcome budgetary challenges in a tough economy.
- Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula, in the San Francisco Bay Area, runs after-school programs that help young people succeed and stay in school, but “Without the necessary technology, we’re having a hard time keeping kids engaged as they age,” says Associate Unit Director Peter Pheap. The clubs’video shows a student using his computer in 7 imaginative ways to improve and get involved in his community.
- The More than Me Foundation is a virtual team of volunteers who work to help more children in Liberia to be able to attend school. When last in Liberia, founder Katie Meyler donated her personal laptop because – as the Foundation’s video demonstrates – it’s about “more than where we are, what we say, what we know, what we see, who we know.” With the new computer and grant, the organization will be able to better spread the word about its cause and will provide a number of student scholarships this year.
- SkiDUCK is a new, national organization created by Clint Lunde to bring skiing and snowboarding to disabled and underprivileged children. His video demonstrated how he plans to use Windows 7 to help get kids onto the ski slopes. He estimates that with the help of our grant, SkiDUCK will help 350 kids take to the slopes this year.
- United Way of Central Carolinas currently funds almost 100 agencies, but its staff has been cut by more than 50 percent because of the economy. The group’s video showcased how the speed and efficiency of Windows 7 will help it do more with less to continue meeting the needs of its community.
- Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group works to preserve and enhance salmon habitat. The group’s video, featuring “Squirt” the salmon, shows how – with Windows 7 – the group can process grant applications faster, look at graphs and data more easily and run programs faster, helping save the Pacific Northwest salmon.
We want to congratulate these winners and thank all of the many other nonprofits that participated in 7 Ways to Change the World. It was sobering for us to hear how many of them are facing difficult budgetary challenges in the current economy. We believe that making technology and services readily available to nonprofits, helping them do more with less, is an important responsibility, one we take very seriously. Now more than ever, these vitally important organizations need and deserve community support.