Klamath Falls, Oregon — Through telehealth appointments and Zoom chats, virtual music lessons and book club meetings, Americans with access to technology have found ways to stay healthy and social and to continue their education despite COVID-19 closures and restrictions.
Nearly 50 more children across Klamath County soon will have access to such opportunities, thanks to cloud service provider Opus Interactive and generous individual philanthropists.
Oregon-based Opus Interactive and an anonymous donor donated 45 Chromebooks to Friends of the Children – Klamath Basin, which provides professional mentoring for children facing multiple systemic obstacles. The Chromebooks, combined with those donated during Friends of the Children’s recent “Friend Raiser” fundraiser, will mean an at-home device for every child enrolled in the program.
“We learned about Friends of Children through the Leadership Trust. And, it was like, there’s an organization in Klamath Falls whose youth were not only facing challenges with access and online learning – but they’re also unable to connect with valuable relationships and mentoring that could change their futures. We need to help,” said Opus Interactive CEO Shannon Hulbert.
“As a cloud service provider, we always say connecting people with technology is our life’s work. And, we advocate to generate awareness for STEM-related careers and bridging the digital divide. This was an easy decision. And, we were beyond grateful to learn that anonymous donors were also interested in helping. That just goes to show how important the work is that Friends is doing.”
That work is creating generational change by providing professional, one-on-one mentoring for youth for 12+ years, kindergarten through high school graduation. During COVID-19, the nonprofit’s 27-year mentoring model has become physically distant and virtual, but its support for youth has been more vital than ever.
“COVID cut off our kids from many of the stabilizing factors in their lives, not only their teachers but also their counselors and mentors,” said Johanna Scholer, interim executive director of the Friends Klamath Basin chapter. “We are committed to continue standing by them no matter what, but our surveys showed 45 percent of our families were worried about reliable access to technology at home. These Chromebooks mean that we can stay connected with our youth no matter what happens with schools this fall, and no matter what the COVID restrictions are in our community. We could not be more grateful.”
About Opus Interactive
Founded in 1996, Opus Interactive has earned a reputation for custom IT solutions that fit unique requirements for security, scalability, cost and future growth needs of its customers. An accredited member of the International Managed Services Provider Alliance, the company operates from Tier III+ data centers located in Hillsboro, Portland, Dallas and Northern Virginia. Through close partnerships with industry-leaders and a commitment to customer satisfaction, Opus delivers custom solutions for Cloud Hosting & IaaS, Colocation, DRaaS & Backup, Object Storage, VDI and Public Cloud Monitoring & Management.
Opus Interactive is a woman- and minority-owned enterprise that has worked closely with VMware and HPE partnership programs since 2005. With past performance that includes more than 20 years of proven results and current compliance with PCI-DSS, HIPAA, FedRAMP Moderate Ready and SSAE 18 SOC 2 Type II, OPUS helps customers reduce cost and optimize resources using efficient operations.
For more information, please visit opusinteractive.com.
About Friends of Children – Klamath Basin
Friends of the Children is a national nonprofit that selects children ages 5-6 who face multiple systemic obstacles and pairs them with a salaried, professional mentor (“Friend”) who stays with them from kindergarten through graduation – 12+ years. With a Friend walking beside each youth, youth define what their success looks like in their community. Whether they go to college, learn a trade, enlist in the military, or pursue employment, youth have the choices and freedom to build a life they can be proud of. The Klamath Basin chapter, founded in 2000, employs 6 full-time Friends. Friends of the Children originated in 1993 in Portland, Oregon, and has chapters in 22 locations across the U.S. and U.K. Founder Duncan Campbell was a presenter at TEDxPortland in 2019 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tK2OPkz2LTM).
For more information, please visit friendsklamath.org or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/friendsklamath/.