ABC13 viewers raise over $23K for students without laptops

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Dozens of Houston-area families have new technology for their children thanks to donations from ABC13 viewers.

The community was asked for donations in late October when we began to discover the ongoing need.

During the month long effort to raise money, in partnership with DePelchin Children's Center, viewers delivered.

We may have grown accustomed to seeing drive-thru events during the pandemic. But, Saturday's event at DePelchin Children's Center was unique.

More than thirty families were in attendance in hopes to score a laptop for their child.

Laura has two sons, both with dyslexia. She said her kids are still online only, and the laptop has made them less anxious about school.

"It means a lot because virtual has been real difficult. I know we're not the only family that's been going through this," said Laura. "The kids were excited. He's been up since three, saying, 'Mom, when are we going to get the laptops?'"

Issues have been ongoing since online learning became the only classroom for hundreds of thousands of students. Some of them had limited or no access to a computer on which they could attend class or do their homework.

Last fall, ABC13 met some of the families who have been struggling without that connection. These gifts are in many ways life-changing for them.

"It has been a difficult year for these families," said Megan Green with DePelchin. "Many of these students have had to share a device. At times they're having to use their parents' cell phone for school and many are falling behind. So, this is an opportunity for them to get caught up."

Depelchin hopes to help more families with the $23,000 donated.

In order for families to be successful during the school year, extra resources will be needed.

Julia Bernard who is a single mother said she's grateful.

"I think it's better for them to see that everybody is helping out, and working as a community," Bernard said.

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