WALTHAM, Mass., Dec. 1, 1998 — Microsoft New England today announced it is expanding its Creating Access community outreach efforts in New England with a new program, the Microsoft New England Technology Friends Network. The Technology Friends Network will encourage and provide incentives for Microsoft Corp.-affiliated businesses and individuals to lend their support and expertise to nonprofit organizations throughout New England.
Microsoft New England will help recruit members to the Technology Friends Network. It will also assist in matching up members of the network with nonprofit organizations that need experts to design Web sites, provide computer training to the disadvantaged, and program Microsoft® BackOffice® family-based administrative systems.
Nonprofit agencies currently working with Microsoft New England that will seek support from the Technology Friends Network include the Black Data Processing Chapter, Boston Community Centers, CAST, Jane Doe Safety Fund, National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Patriots’ Trail Girl Scouts, the Children’s Trust Fund and YWCA.
Microsoft New England will officially launch the Technology Friends Network at this year’s Microsoft Explorer 98 Conference and Exposition, Dec. 1-3 at the Hynes Convention Center, which is expected to attract 10,000 attendees. For the second consecutive year, Microsoft will sponsor a Creating Access pavilion at the Explorer conference. The pavilion not only highlights how nonprofit organizations are maximizing the power and reach of technology, but also provides them with a platform to recruit volunteers eager to help them meet their current and future technology challenges. The Creating Access exhibit at the Explorer show is also a testament to Microsoft’s outreach in New England. Over 20 organizations that benefit from local initiatives to help close the gap between technology haves and have nots will be present.
“New England is home to many leading high-tech companies which share our belief that creating access to information through technology is one of the most significant and lasting ways to give back to the community,”
said Orlando Ayala, senior vice president for Microsoft Americas, who is delivering a keynote address at the Explorer show.
“The Technology Friends Network is a perfect way for Microsoft to expand on its long tradition of outreach by facilitating the volunteer initiatives of other local businesses. The Network will enable these businesses to efficiently match their resources to the technology and education-related needs of nonprofit organizations.”
New Horizons of Boston, a company that specializes in providing training solutions on Microsoft products, is one of the companies that has joined the Technology Friends Network.
“The Microsoft Technology Friends Network is a great way for companies like ours to be matched up with nonprofit organizations in need of volunteers,”
said Kent North, vice president of New Horizons of Boston.
“We are eager to continue to find ways to give back to the community, and this is a terrific way to match our skills and capabilities with the needs of some very worthy organizations. The Technology Friends Network is a great complement to our existing business relationship with Microsoft. We share Microsoft’s recognition of the importance technology can play in breaking down economic, physical and social boundaries.”
“Microsoft has been extremely generous with donations that have allowed us to build an information network to coordinate the efforts of hundreds of organizations dedicated to preventing child abuse,”
said Shereen Tyrrell, director of public education, Children’s Trust Fund.
“The Technology Friends Network will give us a way of finding more talented people who are willing to donate their time and expertise to build on that foundation and help us reach even more families and children.”
“Everyone in the business community has always been extremely responsive when we have approached them about working with us on technology projects for nonprofit agencies,”
said Mike Kosek, general manager, Microsoft New England.
“Now we’re hoping to take what has essentially been a one-on-one effort and expand it exponentially by getting the word out to more businesses about nonprofit organizations in need of their help. It will also help us deepen our impact and commitment to giving.”
Under its year-round Creating Access community relations program, Microsoft New England has donated millions of dollars, including software and services, to libraries, community centers and a wide variety of organizations dedicated to helping people improve the quality of their lives through the use of technology. In addition to cash and products, Microsoft employees have also volunteered their time to set up computer laboratories and have conducted hundreds of hours of training for people who otherwise would not have had access to the power of information technology.
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