HOUSTON – School is almost back in session and on Wednesday three organizations in the Houston area stepped up to help families who don’t have access to technology needed for online learning.

Reliant Gives and the Deshaun Watson Foundation donated $175,000 dollars to Comp-U-Dopt, an organization that repurposes old devices for students to use for virtual learning.

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Since the start of the pandemic, Comp-U-Dopt has given out about 8,000 computers to families in the Houston area.

On Wednesday, the organization held its eighty-seventh device distribution since March. Hundreds of families lined up outside Comp-U-Dopt of Houston and while it helped many families, there’s still a long way to go.

“It feels good to go into the school year in a couple of weeks knowing that stressor is eliminated,” Amanda Garner said. She was one of many chosen in the Comp-U-Dopt lottery system to receive a digital device.

“Oh my gosh it’s amazing it was very unexpected I know there is a great need in our community for technology,” Garner said.

Comp-U-Dopt teamed up with Reliant Give and the Deshaun Watson Foundation to provide 500 computers to help bridge the digital divide.

“It’s really tough to do virtual learning without a computer and proper technology so we’ve donated $175,000 between us and the Deshaun Watson Foundation,” said Leanne Schneider, the Director of Community Reliant Relations.

Each family got a hard drive, monitor, keyboard, mouse and two months of free internet from Comcast.

“It was really meaningful to us to give back in such a tangible way,” Schneider said.

Volunteers and Texans Quarterback Deshaun Watson helped load up cars and pass out devices.

“I’m grateful I have 3 kids and it’s been very hard. I have one going to kindergarten, one going to fourth and the other is going to the eighth. I had one computer, but this is actually going to help out a lot,” Cox said.

The need doesn’t end here. Comp-U-Dopt says there are still 50,000 families registered in Harris County who are waiting for a device.

“That’s a lot of people and they are all saying they need a keyboard enabled device to make sure their students are staying connected. So, the schools are doing their part, the county is doing their part and we are trying to fill in the gaps to help get this done,” said Colin Dempsey, the Executive Director of Comp-U-Dopt.

Comp-U-Dopt relies on computer and monetary donations to continue helping those in need.

“Here’s my check for 2,000,” said Jo Ann Levine. She is just one of many who are stepping up to make a difference. 

“I kept thinking to myself, ‘this school can’t provide computers for every student and the ones who are really going to get cited are going to be the children at risk,‘” she said.

She wrote a check for $2,000 but wasn’t sure who to give it too. 

“So, I emailed (KPRC 2) and you called me right back and set me up with Comp-U-Dopt,” she said.

“She was sitting at home and said ‘I needed to do something.’ This is a way she felt she could contribute. She donated her funds to get computers in the hands of students who need it,” Dempsey said.

Reliant is also sponsoring an after-school enrichment program with Comp-U-Dopt for the next three years.

If you would like to donate a digital device, click here.

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