Connecting with Communities in Schools

January 09, 2019

In late 2017, The Home Depot’s Merchandising Execution Team (MET) distributed new tablets to supervisors. When the rollout was over, Ryan Nilsen, manager of business analytics, had 2,200 fully functional Samsung tablets in need of a new home.   

Ryan connected with Communities In Schools, a nonprofit that helps at-risk students and their families gain access to needed resources, including food, clothing, counseling, tutoring and school supplies.

“The students we work with are under the constant threat of eviction, sometimes without power, gas, water or food in the pantry,” explains Joe Vella, development manager of corporate relations for Communities In Schools of Atlanta. “We connect dots for these families. It’s amazing what you can do in a short period of time.”

Last spring, Ryan asked Joe if he had a use for 2,200 tablets. Joe’s response: “Well, absolutely.”  

“I felt like it was the right thing to do,” Ryan says. “These 2,200 tablets were of no use to us, but could be phenomenal for someone else.”

More than 100 volunteers across Atlanta kitted the tablets for distribution to each of the 65 metro Atlanta schools supported by Communities In Schools. Today, MET’s old tablets give these students a way to strengthen math and reading skills, and even serve as a reward for good behavior.

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