$400,000 grant to help elders with digital literacy

HENDERSON, Tenn. — A $400,000 grant has been provided to the Southwest Human Resource Agency.

Southwest Human Resource Agency

The agency says the funds from the West End Home Foundation will help elders in Chester, Decatur, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Madison, and McNairy counties stay connected to the world digitally.

“During the pandemic, we saw first-hand the devastating effect isolation had on our senior adult community due to digital illiteracy,” said Lauralee Smith, Senior Services Director. “When we were Face timing our families, conducting meetings through Zoom and going to church online, they were all alone. Our heart’s desire is to deliver digital hope through our Tech Helps Program.”

The grant will bring computer literacy classes to the area, assistance with internet services, tech support, cyber security training and transportation to the training, according to the news release.

The release says the classes will be for those over the age of 60, with participants getting a Chromebook and fifteen hours of classroom training.

“Agencies and nonprofits seeking grants had to address ways their organizations would reduce social isolation and increase access to essential services for older Tennesseans through digital literacy and inclusion programming,” said Dianne Oliver, executive director, West End Home
Foundation. “We look forward to seeing how Southwest HRA will use these funds to address the specific needs of its residents.”

The release says volunteers can begin signing up on Aug. 22, and class participants can submit applications on Sept. 1. Classes will begin on Oct. 1.

SWHRA says to contact Angela Gaters, the Program Coordinator. The agency can be reached at (800) 372-6013.

SWHRA is one of 30 groups receiving the grant. You can read the full news release here.

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