At Rally, we love our Apple laptops. Typically we use them day in and day out for three years or more, after which they enjoy their next phase of life.

In 2014, we started a donation program to place them into good use at “retirement homes”—organizations that would appreciate them until their useful life is over. Through the course of last year, we donated 95 MacBooks valued at nearly $30,000 to Colorado nonprofits and educational institutions. I’m happy to share a few of their stories.

Boulder Emergency Squad

At Rally, Cliff Rosell is a Senior Financial Analyst; but at Boulder Emergency Squad (BES) he’s a professional rescuer, IT supervisor, Resource Planning Supervisor, and Board Member —roles that add up to about 1,000 annual volunteer hours.

In 2014, Rally donated two iMacs and three MacBook Pros to support the work of this life-saving community organization. According to Cliff, “Prior to Rally’s donation, we had one desktop computer. Now we’ve upgraded our radio dispatch computer, have a dedicated system for training presentations, enabled two officers to work remotely, and have added a dedicated laptop for any member to use. Rally’s donation has really helped modernize BES in a way that could not have been done otherwise.”

Boulder Emergency Squad volunteer Nicolas Venot looks at map and call data on the donated computer used for radio dispatch at the organization’s headquarters

Brighton High School

Rally IT Director Jesse Brouillette spends his 1% paid volunteer time helping out at Brighton High School (BHS), where he uses his technology skills and expertise to help the small IT staff. The school has two computer labs but that need to serve nearly 2,000 students, so access to technology is limited.

Jesse and his wife, Emerald—who is Dean of Students at BHS—brainstormed affordable and feasible ways to increase technology access at the school, and decided to build a self-contained mobile lab that could be wheeled into classrooms. Rally donated 42 retired laptops for the project, and this mobile cart how now effectively doubled the computers available for student use.

Jesse Brouillette (right), Rally’s IT Director, volunteers at Brighton High School’s IT department and helped create a mobile lab with Rally-donated laptops.

In recognition of the contribution, Rally was honored with the school district’s “Reaching In” award, given to a business or other organization from the community that makes a significant impact.

Open Media Foundation

The Open Media Foundation (OMF) is an innovative media and technology nonprofit dedicated to putting the power of the media in the hands of the people, enabling everyone to engage in their community and bring about the change they wish to see in the world. OMF accomplishes its mission by providing access to affordable, high-end media and technology services. The staff and volunteers offer training and tools that enable everyone to represent their own voice in the media conversation.

With 10 laptops Rally donated in September, OMF was able to begin offering members of Denver Open Media (DOM) the ability to work on projects remotely. Explains Liz Wuster, Member and Donor Relations Manager, “In fewer than 60 days, the laptops have been checked out 34 times, for a total of 2,591 hours! They have been used individually by our members, and in bulk by organizations, such as the Denver Film Society, in its efforts to teach editing and animation to youths. We offers classes around tech capacity and editing, which give our members a better grasp of how to most effectively use these laptops.”

“The MacBooks donated by Rally have been very useful in terms of doing edit jobs on Adobe Premiere and making graphics on Adobe Photoshop. They've allowed me to get things done in the video production department when I can't come in to Denver Open Media during office hours.” - Brian Nemeth, a DOM member

I Have a Dream Foundation of Boulder County

ln October, the I Have a Dream Foundation of Boulder County (IHAD) put 10 Rally-donated MacBook Pros to immediate good use. Each year, the organization selects a cohort of 50-60 low-income “Dreamers,” at-risk kids who are partnered with community members. These Dreamers are encouraged in elementary school to believe that college is an attainable goal, and as they grow up they receive extensive career and college preparation guidance, sponsored campus visits, and assistance with the application process.

The Dreamer students are using the laptops to complete coursework, projects, and internships as they prepare to enter college. IHAD staff members use the laptops to raise needed funds for programs through grant writing, as well as to recruit, interview, and train tutors and mentors. IHAD’s program director will use her laptop to manage the caseload for 60 new Dreamers—tracking attendance, grades, and case notes as they begin their journey toward high school graduation.

“Before this MacBook, I didn't have access to a laptop in order to conduct off-site volunteer recruitment presentations, interviews, and trainings. I am very grateful for the new laptop from Rally!” commented Ashley, Volunteer Director at I Have a Dream Foundation

We’re delighted to hear the stories of how our “old” laptops are helping others in their next stage of life. We now have more requests than we can fulfill, so 2015 is likely to be another busy year for Rally laptops to find new, happy homes.

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