Chris J Powell

If I had a Million Dollars – Part 4

With some wheels on the road, a full compliment of computer gear and a living filled with sound and video my original Million Dollar Spending Spree is down to just  $860,990.00.  The spending has been focused on what I want but this week I will be looking a the things and deeds that I want to do that can spread some good in both my community and around the world.  There are a few charities that I have been wanting to get involved with for a while but not having the time or the spare cash to really make a difference I wanted to use today’s post to share some really amazing Tech Charities and bleed off some of my “ill gotten gains”.  This post is all about showcasing some charities that I would not only want to be a part of, but would also be an organization that I could believe in in the long term.  There are literally 1000’s of options to choose from and to narrow the list down to 4…has been hard.


This Canadian Charity focuses on the sharing of IT Resources with other charities.  Their mission statement is:

Our mission is to create opportunities with technology through our TechMentor, TechReuse, and TechYouth programs while helping the environment.

A donation of $25,000 to them would benefit countless 1000’s as they continue to grow their base and support the needs Ottawa’s most deserving groups.  While they are only focused on the Ottawa, Canada area the concept of CompuCorps is something that I truly think could be translated to nearly any city in North America and maybe the small contribution can help them expand into other regions.



As part of the International Executive Service Corps, the GeekCorps focuses on bringing “connectivity” to those with little or no opportunity to see the outside world.  They have built or refurbished 17 radio substations in the Sub-Saharan country of Mali and have been a source of inspiration to me for some time and I have had plans to build a “war chest” of sustainable resources so that I would be able to do a 6 month stint in Africa helping a community or communities with technology.

The donation of $25,000 to this charity would enable a continued building of information resources for the most isolated people on the planet and bring the world to them.



Having worked with a number of Non-profit organizations in my previous life as a Sales Professional, I know just how hard it is for these organizations to balance a budget and stay current with the licensing demands that the current world of software brings.  TechSoup is an organization that provides a deeply discounted option for Charities to have the latest software and hardware tools available to them.  With chapters in 45 countries, the impact of their organization is truly global.

The donation of $25,000 to this charity would enable them to continue to do the great work that they do, empowering the next generation of volunteers to be able to impact the world around them.

The Need to Give…

The final charity that I would give to, is not one that currently exists.  There is a real need in this world for people to be creative in how and where they build their connection to the rest of the world and for me, that has been for a very long time through the use of technology.  I don’t know what I would call it or how I would work out the logistics of this plan but I would want to empower and enable a future generation to build a brighter tomorrow and in this aim, I would take the world of technology and put it into the hands of children in my local community.

The first step would be to make 500 iPad minis available to Grade 1 Students and Teachers here in London, ON.  The way that I would see this work, is that teachers could apply for the gift of their entire class to receive an iPad and this device would be their educational tool for the remainder of their school career.  Last year, there were 5,200+ Grade 1 students across 130+ schools.

blason armorbox

The way that I would build this charity, would be to empower the teacher to apply for the gift of a classroom of iPad minis (every student would receive their own personalized iPad mini) and so would the teacher.  This would become their own educational device that could continue on with them for their scholastic career.  This gift of technology would not come cheap…these are Grade 1 Students after all so protecting the investment would be important as well so while each device would be personalized, a protective case (probably the i-Blason Kido Armorbox for the iPad Mini).  I would also provide each student with a $25.00 iTunes Gift Cards so that the “work” device can be fun too.

STARTING BALANCE $                     860,990.00
CompuCorps Donation$                         25,000.00
STEREO (SPEAKERS ETC) $                         25,000.00
GAMING AND PLAYERS $                         25,000.00
SUBSCRIPTIONS AND PHYSICAL MEDIA $                       150,000.00
DAY 4 BALANCE $                     635,990.00

Next week, I look to a place to hang my hat.  I still can’t decide if moving to the country or staying put in the city will be my future…but next week I explore my options for the home that I want…you may be surprised at how this cheap bastard can stretch a dollar.



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