Meet Chuck, sparrow’s First Mobile Mentor

Meet Chuck, sparrow’s First Mobile Mentor

Introducing Chuck and the Mobile Mentors Field report by Rebecca Fontanilla, sparrow intern One Thursday afternoon in Palo Alto, Chuck attended a meeting for Downtown Streets Team. Case managers were announcing a new program offering free smartphones to the homeless. Intrigued, Chuck listened closer… “We also need one of you to be involved,” the case manager looked into the audience. “Is anyone interested?” the case manager continued. Only one hand was raised. With Chuck as the First Volunteer, the Mobile Mentors were Born Chuck had been a teacher for computer literacy. Not only is he knowledgeable, he understands the importance of technology access as a basic need for functioning in today’s society. “Not everyone is aware,” Chuck stated. “Not everyone is aware that when you give someone a smartphone, the playing field becomes more leveled.” How well do you function without a mobile phone? Imagine how important that connectivity is to someone who is in crisis or who has very little. Without reliable mobile, it’s hard to get a job. Hard to get housing. Hard to stay in touch with family and friends. Easy to become isolated. Homeless = Human In addition to a teacher, Chuck is an advocate for human rights, which can be seen through his articles written for Palo Alto City Council. In one article he addresses the issue of homeless people living out of their cars and in another commentary he voices his opinion on funding the armory. In this commentary, he questions: “If five people die of exposure while the armory is present, how many people die if the armory is not funded and closed...
Fast Company Features Sparrow’s RefugeeMobile Program

Fast Company Features Sparrow’s RefugeeMobile Program

One simple trick helps refugees adjust to life in the U.S: giving them a phone By Adele Peters, Fast Company Refugees who got a phone preloaded with translation and map apps had a much easier time with the transition to their new life… Read the full article on Fast Company...
Sparrow’s RefugeeMobile Program Shows Smartphones Help Refugee Families Arriving in the US Resettle More Successfully

Sparrow’s RefugeeMobile Program Shows Smartphones Help Refugee Families Arriving in the US Resettle More Successfully

For Immediate Release (SAN FRANCISCO DECEMBER 17, 2018) The results are in: research shows that smartphones help refugees resettle more successfully. RefugeeMobile, a smartphone program launched in May 2016 with the goal of helping refugee families arriving in the US resettle more successfully, has developed a proven program for refugees who have access to smartphones and data service. Recipients are more likely to integrate, be employed, and have higher paying jobs, according to new research. The program was designed by Sparrow in partnership with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services and Refugee Services of Texas (RST), evaluated by the University of Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), and funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Vodafone Americas Foundation with support from Tableau Foundation. RefugeeMobile aims to help refugees get on their feet, while also expanding the capacity for the agencies that serve them as their resources continue to be constrained. The phones are preloaded with apps such as English learning, transportation, banking and communications, and then distributed by resettlement agencies when families first arrive in the US. A new study by LEO demonstrates that the smartphones and digital access provided by RefugeeMobile make a difference by enabling people to connect with support networks, overcome language barriers, access key services, and navigate their new communities more easily. “On behalf of all the RefugeeMobile partners, funders and clients, we are so excited to report the conclusions and findings from LEO on the first phase of our project,” notes Matt Bauer, CEO of Sparrow. “Our overarching goal from the outset is to improve the lives of...
RefugeeMobile Program

RefugeeMobile Program

RefugeeMobile is an impact program of Sparrow Mobile. Sparrow customers help refugees and others from under-served communities gain digital access with every month of service. Visit the RefugeeMobile program site to learn more.   RefugeeMobile Program...
A social entrepreneur and an investor go to coffee…

A social entrepreneur and an investor go to coffee…

Civic Accelerator, a Points of Light program, hosted the Investor Café, a fast-paced roundtable activity where 12 early-stage startups (including Sparrow) moved from table to table to meet with impact investors and potential customers, and practice the art of the pitch. This innovative event was hosted at WeWork in New York City, in partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal. Sparrow cofounder, Amy Tucker, shares outtakes and lessons learned from this high-energy event. Read the blog published by the Civic Accelerator here...
Points of Light picks Sparrow for digital inclusion accelerator

Points of Light picks Sparrow for digital inclusion accelerator

San Francisco, April 5, 2018 – Sparrow, a US mobile carrier with a social mission, announced that Points of Light, the first national accelerator dedicated to investing in civic ventures, selected Sparrow, along with 12 other social ventures, for their Spring accelerator program “working to advance digital inclusion and 21st-century tech skills for all to succeed in the innovation economy.” (Points of Light, 2018) “It’s an honor and delight to participate in this amazing effort to further digital inclusion. We’re especially excited for the opportunity to join forces with Points of Light and other social ventures who share the mission of furthering civil society and creating a more inclusive world.” Amy Tucker, Sparrow cofounder. The 10-week program kicks off in San Francisco in April, alongside the first ever SEED Conference of impact investors, with follow-on sessions in New York and Atlanta. About Sparrow Sparrow is a for-profit and for-good U.S. wireless carrier with a mission to end digital poverty and connect people with purpose. Sparrow customers get high-quality wireless service, friendly care, fair pricing and make a difference, just by using their cell phone. For every Sparrow subscriber, a smartphone or service plan is donated to someone in need with a focus on youth, women, refugees and homeless people in both the U.S. and abroad.  About Points of Light Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 5 million volunteers in 20 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people...