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...
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...
Sparrow Annual Impact Report | 2017-18

Sparrow Annual Impact Report | 2017-18

Sparrow is honored and delighted to publish its first Sparrow Annual Impact Report | 2017-18, available for download via the company’s new impact section. Current impact areas focus on communities facing digital poverty including women, youth, refugees, and homeless families in both the US and abroad. Ultimately, Sparrow customers make Sparrow impact come to life in a powerful and sustainable way. For every Sparrow mobile subscriber (“sponsor sparrow”) a smartphone or service plan goes to someone in need (“impact sparrow”) via nonprofit partners and programs. With more mobile subscriptions in the U.S. than people, we are leveraging the massive mobile industry for positive change. Together, we are creating a more inclusive world; one smartphone and one person at a time. Join the movement by signing up at...
Announcing the Sparrow Mobile Program for Nonprofits and Libraries

Announcing the Sparrow Mobile Program for Nonprofits and Libraries

Connect Your Team and Scale Your Nonprofit Impact Sparrow partnered with TechSoup to provide smartphone donations and service plan discounts to verified nonprofits and libraries, and those who directly support them, including employees, volunteers and donors. It’s one small way of saying thank you for all the good you do. Sparrow Mobile for Nonprofits Program Benefits 10% off any products in the Sparrow catalog + access to donated smartphones & SIMs 5% off Sparrow monthly service plans or sign up for the Just Plan, available only to nonprofit organizations Social benefit: For every customer, Sparrow donates a smartphone or service plan to someone in digital poverty How to Access the Sparrow Mobile for Nonprofits Program Purchase any Sparrow offer on TechSoup Save the TechSoup Order Reference Number provided in the TechSoup order confirmation email Place an order with Sparrow by calling (844) 697-7277 Ext. 2 or via the Nonprofit Program Order form You will be asked to provide your organization name and the TechSoup Order Reference number to verify your nonprofit status.  Share the Love: A Benefit for Your Entire Organization When your nonprofit or library orders Sparrow on TechSoup, anyone who contributes directly to your organization—including employees, volunteers and donors—can also take advantage of Sparrow discounts and donations for nonprofits by requesting access here. Share your organization name and the TechSoup Order Reference number with your organization’s employees, volunteers and donors. When placing an order with Sparrow, to qualify for the nonprofit discount, they will be asked to provide this information.   About TechSoup TechSoup, a 501c3 nonprofit, is the largest distributor of technology to nonprofits and libraries in the world. Verified nonprofits and libraries can access technology donations and...
Sparrow Program for Refugees Featured at White House Roundtable During United Nations General Assembly

Sparrow Program for Refugees Featured at White House Roundtable During United Nations General Assembly

Sparrow Joins White House Call to Action for Private Sector Engagement on the Global Refugee Crisis Along with 50 Private Sector Companies SAN FRANCISCO, CA (September 20, 2016) Sparrow, a U.S. wireless company applying the buy-one-give-one model for world change, announced its participation in the White House Call to Action for Private Sector Engagement on the Global Refugee Crisis. The White House invited Sparrow to present its RefugeeMobile program, backed in part by a MacArthur Discovery Grant, that provides new refugees who arrive in the United States with smartphones and apps designed to help them connect with their support network, learn English, find jobs and contribute to their new communities. There are more than 65 million displaced people in the world today, the highest number on record since the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) began collecting statistics. More than 21 million of these people have crossed international borders in search of safety and are registered as refugees. Refugees are people just like everyone else — mothers, fathers, doctors, teachers, students — who have been driven from their homes and across international borders by violence and persecution. More than half are children. “The stories we hear from RefugeeMobile participants are heart breaking, but their resilience is awe inspiring,” said Matt Bauer, CEO, Sparrow. “We are humbled and honored to present RefugeeMobile to President Obama and see an enormous opportunity for improving refugee resettlement services in the U.S. by applying smartphones and modern technology,” said Bauer. Sparrow responded to the White House Call to Action with a pledge to expand Sparrow’s Texas-based RefugeeMobile program from 250 families to 1,000 or more families...
In the News: Smartphones are a Lifeline for Homeless People

In the News: Smartphones are a Lifeline for Homeless People

Mobile for All featured by The Guardian The Guardian newspaper in the UK recently covered Mobile for All’s homeless program. Here’s what Mobile for All program manager, Allan Baez, had to say: “Smartphones are incomparable tools for connecting people who are isolated, and empowering homeless and extreme-low-income individuals to access life-changing services and gain self-sufficiency,” says Baez. Read the full article...