Grantee Update: The Open Resource

2021 Cycle I Community Funds Grant Recipient: $16,190

Submitted by: Ron Shields, Digital Navigator

Success in implementing Rush County Broadband Task Force’s Digital Inclusion Plan has taken several different forms. With help from the community, specifically a grant from the Rush County Community Foundation, The Open Resource established a Digital Navigator project in 2021. This project has worked to enhance digital inclusion during late 2021 and early 2022.


  • More than 110 free devices to folks in need of computer hardware,
  • Workshops on understanding and using the free devices provided to community members, and
  • Technical computer help and assistance to more than 188 folks.


But success is more than statistics and numbers, it is also personal stories such as these.


  • A senior couple needing a home budget friendly ISP and device to access online banking and email plus some training to get them started.
  • A local author seeking helping to combine the Microsoft Word chapters of his new book.
  • The local nonprofit needing help to create a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to manage their organization more effectively.
  • Classes to local organizations needing training for their employees.
  • An employee at a local nonprofit needing a laptop to record home visits,
  • A local quilt maker who purchased the wrong hardware and needed a different device plus help installing the application which would run her embroidery software.
  • The individual who somehow reset their browser default and was receiving Turkish news and weather updates.
  • The local student thrilled beyond description by winning a new Chromebook at the Rush TechFest.
  • A City employee needed a laptop with battery life that would enable her to function more effectively enhancing the quality of life for the community.


Plus the many other folks seeking help on more routine questions such as using their printers, accessing email, or finding an internet service.


In many ways, the cumulation of this year of success stories of digital inclusion was on display at the Rush TechFest on April 30 of this year. This TechFest happened thanks to a grant from Duke Energy and The Purdue Center for Regional Development plus the efforts of a dedicated team of individuals committed to the concept of digital inclusion. The TechFest was a showcase of local and regional vendors and other organizations with a focus of promoting technology inclusion, spreading knowledge, and having fun for many of our local residents of all ages.


Carole Yeend, Co-Chair of The Broadband Task Force and President of The Open Resource, said, “We thank the community and groups such as Community Foundation for their support in the past year and look forward to a future of continuing to offer the Digital Navigator Project plus expanded technology inclusion options as we begun to provide the services of the Makerspace @ 103.”

Like this? Share it:

Comments are closed for this post.