This story was originally one I wanted to share on my personal blog That Place In My Head. However, when you look at all the elements it is one that speaks to every Tech Girl.
I remember being 21 and struggling to make my starting salary go very far. I bragged a journalism degree and an honours degree and yet, despite what my principal and teachers told me, I really felt like I’d been thrown to the sharks and not been offered the cushy job they told me a university qualification would guarantee. How very naive I was.
As I got older my monthly income increased and so too did my understanding of the world. I realised that 21 year old Sam needed a slap upside the head and that I was, without a doubt, in a far better position than most. I’d never been wanting for employment and, despite not being able to afford the headphones I wanted, could still feed myself at the end of the month. By this stage my job afforded me the opportunity to meet people less fortunate than myself and realise how much our world needs each of us to offer some sort of support.
Towards the end of last year I made a conscious decision to forgo extra shopping and donate some of my salary to a charity each month. But how do you choose? There are so many in need! It was the story of Stacey Vee and her Lionheart that I identified with the most. I’ve always disliked how people are ostracized for being different or “not like us”. I also have had family members that suffered from mental health issues. Not only could I relate to what Stacey was trying to do, but I also loved that it introduced one of my favourite things, gadgets, as well.
The charity I’ve decided to support (and one I hope you can get behind too) is #iPadsforLionhearts. The organisation offers support to children with autism. Autistic kids struggle to make friends and battle in usual classroom settings. However, for many children with autism and other special needs – they’re able to forge a connection via an iPad. For some children the interface of a tablet allows them to communicate and also acts as an educational tool. Parents and caregivers can track their therapies and, most importantly as far as I’m concerned, it gives the child confidence.
Listen, the only reason I have an iPad is because I won it in a competition. I could never justify spending that sort of money on a tablet… and I have money to spend. While I can never begin to imagine what a family with special needs children goes through, I’m almost 100% sure the cost of adequate care for their kids is already hitting their pocket hard. I doubt they can afford to fork out extra for a tablet.
This is where #iPadsforLionhearts comes in. They collect iPads and then distribute them to families with special needs children who need them. When you upgrade to the latest gadget instead of plonking the other one in the cupboard, you ring Stacey and she arranges to collect.
Here’s how you can help #iPadsForLionhearts
- The most obvious – donate your second-hand iPad. They’ll come fetch from you no matter where you are in South Africa.
- They’ll also accept iPads with shattered screens or water damage.
- Actually any gadgets you can donate will help. The iStore’s trade-in programme allows the charity to swop tech for credit and put that towards purchasing new tables.
- Make a cash donation.
- Each Lionheart gets an iPad starter kit. So you can donate screen protectors, screen wipes, covers, headphones etc.
I’ve made this my personal charity of choice and am declaring it Tech Girl’s as well (this is why it’s rad to be the editor, I can do things like this). I’m hoping you’ll get involved too!
For more information visit http://www.ipadsforlionhearts.co.za/
Combining tech, education and helping those in need…. what’s not to love?