Danny Fitzgibbons, Julie Nisbet and Ashley Switzer would like to officially invite you to support our new non-profit, EqualiTech, a 501c3 charitable organization. More than 18 months in the making, our mission at EqualiTech is to bring free computer access to the community of Old Town Goleta by opening a technology center at the Goleta Valley Community Center. In 2015, having become aware of the lack of free computer access in Old Town, we set out to gather hard data to back up our assumption that there is both a need and desire for such access. We connected with a great local program called Computers For Families and distributed questionnaires to 156 families, half of which reported being Old Town residents. Among that group, 62% reported having no access to a personal computer at home, and 95% welcomed free public access to computers in their community. With the data in hand we set out to address this pressing issue.
Since gathering that data we have made great strides in moving forward with this ambitious project. We spent about six months networking with other organizations in the hopes of finding an existing non-profit who would agree to take on this project. While almost everyone we talked to enthusiastically supported the idea, they were reticent about taking on the added responsibility so we decided to form our own nonprofit. We incorporated in June and became 501(c)(3) tax exempt in early October all the while continuing to network with other local organizations and individuals to gain support for this undertaking.
We feel GVCC is a natural home for the center, as it has a proven track record of providing for the community, is physically located in the heart of Old Town, and many people already assume that this is a service they offer. We have worked closely with GVCC throughout this process and the board has generously agreed to donate space for the center. We have also connected with Cox Communications and they have agreed to donate the internet connection. We have tested and decided on the computers we will be starting with, and measured the space at GVCC for furniture. After months of hard work, this now leaves us with the unenviable task of asking our friends and family to help us deliver on our mission by donating whatever you can part with to help us open the computer lab. We have started a generosity campaign which is linked at both the top and bottom of this post. Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing all of you at the new Goleta Valley Tech Center at GVCC in 2017.