Kindle Donation Continues: United Way Helps Older Adults Connect through Technology

    July 22nd, 2020

    22 additional tablets donated

    MANKATO—With the help of generous regional supporters, Greater Mankato Area United Way continues to address social isolation and ensure older adults in care facilities can stay connected through technology.

    This week, volunteers are helping United Way deliver an additional 22 Kindle Fire tablets to senior care facilities, bringing the total donated to 152 devices to 22 facilities in United Way’s service area of Blue Earth, Le Sueur, Nicollet and Waseca counties.

    Staff at care facilities have been helping residents put the devices to use. Many have used the Kindles for talking with family, participating in music therapy, viewing videos and more.

    United Way is accepting donations for the Kindle initiative on a rolling basis.

    “Social connection is instrumental to an individual’s emotional and mental health,” said Greater Mankato Area United Way CEO Barb Kaus. “Connection to others can help ease loneliness, stress and depression. By providing technology to older adults, we can offer them a means of communication and connection to family and other loved ones who are unable to visit during these times of crisis.”

    The initiative began when Nate Erickson, administrator at Mankato’s Ophthalmology Associates, approached Kaus with the idea of providing devices to older adults who are socially isolated during COVID-19 restrictions. United Way took on the role of convening and connecting.

    Donors included service clubs, individuals and businesses throughout the region. District #77 also loaned additional tablets.

    The initiative is an example of Greater Mankato Area United Way’s mission of convening people and organizations to resources.

    Donors to this initiative include:

    • Cory Abels
    • Diane Beckmann, Thrivent Financial – Waseca
    • Connors Plumbing & Heating
    • Pam DeMarce, Wow!Zone Family Entertainment Center
    • Exchange Club of Waseca
    • Greater Mankato Rotary Club
    • Kiwanis Club of Mankato
    • Mankato Sunrise Lions Club
    • Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging
    • Minnesota Valley Civitan Club
    • Ophthalmology Associates
    • Optimist Club of Minnesota Valley
    • Sertoma of Greater Mankato
    • Jaye Sopkowiak
    • St. Peter Lions Club
    • St. Peter Rotary
    • Target Mankato
    • Waseca Lions Club
    • Waseca Rotary Club