Because everyone needs mobile: When you change to Sparrow, you change a life. Learn more >>
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...
Take the #PhonelessFriday Challenge

Take the #PhonelessFriday Challenge

How Long Can You Go… Announcing the #PhonelessFriday Challenge for the month of December! Each Friday this month, try going without using your mobile phone and time how long you last. Every Friday during December, turn off your mobile phone for the day If you need to use your phone, log the time of day on Facebook or Twitter, and tag with #PhonelessFriday Challenge friends and family to do the same Why is a mobile company asking people to use their phones less? Glad you asked! #PhonelessFriday was created to draw attention to a new program, Mobile4All, and how much so many of us rely on our phones, as well as how our lives would be impacted by not having it for a day… getting directions, talking to our families, making business calls, getting a Lyft, finding out where to catch the bus, texting friends, sending a tweet, and the list goes on. Did you know the U.S. has one of the most expensive mobile phone services in the world? This is a barrier to many low-income people who need mobile phones to communicate with potential employers and landlords, follow-up with case managers, schedule medical appointments, and connect with friends and relatives. People with very few resources face a choice between unaffordable mobile phone services, and unreliable public programs that offer extremely limited talk time and text messages. Often on pre-paid plans with “burner phones,” many low-income people do not have a phone number they can keep, or regular access to voicemail. Going without your phone too hard to imagine? In lieu of giving up your phone for a day, consider helping someone in need get connected by making a contribution to...
Mobile4All: It’s a Launch!

Mobile4All: It’s a Launch!

On October 30th, Mobile4All, an initiative designed to end homelessness in the Bay Area and beyond, launched at Grace Baptist Church in San Jose, California. On that day, 55 Downtown Streets team members—people without housing in the heart of Silicon Valley—received brand new Google Nexus 5 smartphones, training and service via Sparrow. A Community Technology Alliance (CTA) program, in partnership with Downtown Streets (DTS) and Sparrow, the launch represents the culmination of over two years of research and effort. In addition, Google donated over 1000 devices to support the program. “It’s amazing how something most of us take for granted—a smartphone with reliable service, regular access to voicemail, and a number you can keep—can make a big difference in someone’s life. Mobile4All is the only plan in the country designed to help homeless citizens get back on their feet.” ~ Jen Padgett, CEO, Community Technology Alliance Mobile4All combines digital access and skills training as a way to connect homeless citizens with health, family, housing and pathways to self sufficiency. Participants work, volunteer, and share progress updates to benchmark and measure how owning their own smartphone, having a number they can keep, access to voicemail, and key contact numbers (simple things we all take for granted) impact and improve their life. We’d like to recognize Sparrow team member, June, for activating and supporting pilot participants without a hitch. And end with an extra big shout out to CTA, DTS, and especially to Allan Baez, Mobile4All’s visionary, for making this beautiful dream a reality. We’re honored to support this impactful program through Mobile for All and tailor-made service. #Together we can end homelessness. Read the program announcement from CTA...
Sparrow Pilot Customers Activate E-readers for Students in Kenya

Sparrow Pilot Customers Activate E-readers for Students in Kenya

Mobile for All: Worldreader Classroom Kit Delivered! On September 1, 2014, students from the Oltikampu School, located in rural Kenya, were greeted with Kindle e-readers—one for each student. Loaded with thousands of digital books and delivered by Mobile for All giving partner, Worldreader, the classroom kit was made possible by our fabulous pilot customers. For these kids, having an e-reader to bring home has a huge impact on their ability to succeed in school. Many of the Oltikampu students often get a late start in school because of long distances and mountainous terrain. Because of the late start, often these students are embarrassed for being older and behind other students, which can make them more likely to drop out. Other challenges to schooling are the pressures for girls to drop out for marriage and for boys to help with agricultural labor at home. Bridging the Digital Divide & Closing the Gender Gap Through the classroom kits, based on benchmarks set and closely tracked by Worldreader, literacy rates improve across the board, with an even greater increase in literacy for girls. Girls frequently miss more school due to domestic duties like caring for younger siblings and household chores. In addition, we all know that boys and girls tend to learn differently. Through this program, girls and boys can learn at their own pace and in their own way, and everyone benefits. Program at a Glance Giving Partner Worldreader Mission End illiteracy worldwide Donation Location Oltikampu School, Kenya Program E-reader Classroom Kits Total # of devices 50 E-readers. One per child E-reader usage E-readers are taken home overnight and on weekends Total # of people impacted 50 students + family and community members. According to Worldreader, on...