Donation Stories September 18, 2015

Update below.

With the number of refugees now fleeing war-torn Syria reaching into the hundreds of thousands, Apple is inviting customers to donate to the Red Cross through a splash page on the iTunes Store. There are donate buttons for amounts ranging from $5 to $200 in the U.S. store, and for similar sums in other countries.

Many Syrian nationals have seen their homes and, in some cases, entire towns destroyed by bombings. Others were forced to run as ISIS continues its brutal expansion, with murder and rape commonplace. The Red Cross has launched a crisis appeal to raise money to provide food, water, shelter and medical care for those fleeing the country …  expand full story

Donation Stories June 1, 2015

Widow recycles Apple I computer, not realizing it was worth $200k

With only around 200 Apple I computers ever made, they fetch six-figure sums these days – but it seems not everyone knows their value. The San Jose Mercury News reports that a woman dropped off several boxes of electronics at a South Bay recycling company, saying she just wanted to “get rid of this stuff” to clear out her garage after her husband died.

The woman didn’t leave her details, and the company didn’t go through the boxes until some weeks later, when they discovered the vintage computer. They have now sold it to a private collector for $200,000.

It’s not all bad news for the mystery woman, though: recycling company Clean Bay Area says its policy is to give half the proceeds of sales to the original owner, so if she comes forward she’ll receive a check for $100k. Chancers will be out of luck – Vice President Victor Gichun, who took in the boxes from her, says he remembers both the woman’s face and her SUV. All she has to do to collect is show up.

Photo: TNW

Donation Stories April 27, 2015

T-Mobile, Sprint, TWC make calling & texting Nepal free, waive bills to aid earthquake relief efforts

Update: Sprint and Time Warner Cable too.

Many tech companies are attempting to help victims of the devastating Nepal earthquake this week and the latest is T-Mobile. The carrier announced that it’s making calling and texting Nepal free in order to aid relief efforts:

In the wake of the devastating Nepalese earthquake, many T-Mobile customers are trying to stay in touch with their family and friends in Nepal.  T-Mobile is making this easier by waiving and crediting fees for all calls and text messages to and from Nepal from Saturday, April 25 through Saturday, May 16.  Calling and texting to and from Nepal without charges applies to all postpaid and prepaid customers of T-Mobile, MetroPCS, GoSmart Mobile and Walmart Family Mobile with international calling.

T-Mobile also notes that its customers can text to various charities to make a donation that will be charged to their mobile bill:

  • Save the Children – Text NEPAL to 20222 to donate $10 to Save the Children
  • UNICEF – Text NEPAL to 864233 to donate $10 to UNICEF
  • World Vision – Text NEPAL to 777444 to donate $10 to World Vision

Google and Apple have also launched efforts to aid people in Nepal impacted by the earthquake.

With well over 3,000 confirmed deaths in Saturday’s devastating earthquake in Nepal, Apple is inviting iTunes users to donate to the American Red Cross. The appeal allows donations from $5 to $200, with 100% of the funds donated being passed anonymously to the Red Cross …  expand full story

Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

Donation Stories December 18, 2014

Apple CEO Tim Cook has made a “generous personal financial investment” in Project One America, an LGBT equality campaign focused on three Southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin announced the donation on the civil rights organization’s blog today.

When Tim first learned about HRC’s Project One America – our bold, comprehensive campaign to dramatically advance equality for LGBT Americans in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi – he said, “I’m in.” Thanks to his generous personal financial investment in the program, together we will move the needle forward at the local and state level, tearing down misperceptions and providing concrete protections for those who need it most.

In announcing the Apple CEO’s personal donation to Project One America, the HRC also praised Tim Cook’s personal essay from October in which he became the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company: expand full story

Donation Stories May 5, 2014

Apple donates $500,000 to local anti-poverty charity SF Gives

Apple, alongside a handful of other tech companies, is reaching into its pockets for local San Francisco anti-poverty charity SF Gives. According to a report from Fortune, Apple is one of many companies that has donated $500,000 towards the total goal of $10 million that the organization is attempting to raise for local initiatives.

For the most part, signing up high-profile tech companies hasn’t presented a huge challenge thanks to Benioff and Lurie’s Silicon Valley connections. Still, while SF Gives is close to hitting the $10 million mark by its Wednesday deadline, 10 or so companies have declined to chip in. According to Lurie, their reasons vary. “For some, they feel like they’re doing their own thing: They’re giving back [already], and they’re involved,” he says. Other companies don’t generate revenue and feel it’s inappropriate to give away their investors’ money. “Then, there are others who just fundamentally believe that a company shouldn’t be doing philanthropy and that individuals should do it,” Lurie says.

The donation comes as Google and other big tech companies have been involved in controversies over their impact on the housing market and other aspects of smaller San Francisco neighbourhoods in recent months. There have been several cases of protestors blocking buses that shuttle Google employees to and from its headquarters and some even showing up at the homes of Google employees. Compare Apple’s relatively low donation of $500,000 to SF Gives— a fraction of one executive bonus— to the $6.8 million Google just gave to fund transit for low-income youth in the city following the controversies.

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