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Spurs Give donates over $200,000 to improve internet access in underserved San Antonio communities

The team announced a donation to the SAISD Foundation and Bibliotech to address the digital divide by providing internet hotspots to those without access.
Credit: Spurs Give

SAN ANTONIO — Spurs Give has donated over $200,000 to the SAISD Foundation and Bibliotech to address the digital divide by providing internet hotspots to those without access.

"It really struck a chord with me, that it's something that we have to improve upon. In San Antonio more than 38% of households have no fixed internet access," Spurs GM Brian Wright said in a video released by the organization. "Some of the school districts, you're talking about 65% of students not having internet access. It's not a measure of their aptitude and ability and desire, that's a measure of resources and access."

"If you look at where the digital divide is the greatest, it's in our inner cities and rural area, and systemically things have been put in place for years that have gotten us to where we are, and a growth in digital divide only adds to that," Wright said.

"It is a huge equity issue," said Judy Geelhoed, the SAISD Foundation ED. "There was no doubt for us that we were gonna step up immediately. We are only as strong as our weakest neighbor."

Members of the San Antonio community are grateful for the assistance, especially as coronavirus has increased the need for internet access and made money tighter for families all over.

"I'm part of the Grandparents raising Grandchildren, and there's quite a few of them over in the area where I live, and their budget does not include getting internet access, getting computers, getting tablets," said Olga Vasquez of San Antonio. "This all helps."

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"It's really important right now because people are stuck in their houses, and if you don't have an internet connection in your home, then you're relegated to a small phone if you even have that," said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.

"The hotspot gives them an opportunity to connect to the internet, to use all the resources that are on the internet, and so it makes a big difference in the lives of young people, well not just young people but everybody that has no connection to the internet."

Alayna Harris is a mother of two and a front-line worker who has been using her cellphone as a hotspot for her kids.

"We don't even have a computer at home. The iPad from school has been a tremendous help, so we're not left behind," Harris said. "It gives us a little bit of a level playing ground, the advantage isn't so great that he can't keep up with the kids whose families have access at home 24/7."

"I just want to thank the Spurs organization for giving us this opportunity," Harris said while choking up. "To have that same advantage as everybody else."