National Grid Foundation

All their stories in this edition of Destiny

has kicked off 2021 helping its neighbors with food access, human services and emergency heating fund support assisting local communities impacted by COVID – 19.

​​With a $1.5 million donation, more than 50 non – profit organizations across New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island will aid thousands of individuals with basic human needs, hunger relief, and address fuel-neutral winter energy costs.

Long Island’s SeniorNet Brings Technology to Seniors

Will aid thousands of individuals with basic human needs, hunger relief, and address fuel-neutral winter energy costs. During 2020, the National Grid Foundation Board of Directors approved a total of $2 million in COVID – support funding to assist communities in need, including the currently announced gift.

By Christine Berardi

SeniorNet did not let the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-safe-at-home protocols affect its work – the organization pivoted like other nonprofits and continued to provide programs and services to its clients.

Founded in 1986, SeniorNet’s mission to provide seniors with education in and access to computer technology for adults 50+. SeniorNet at Family Service League (FSL), Huntington, NY established the first learning center on Long Island in 1999. The organization offers a broad curriculum with courses serving novices to tech-savvy seniors and anyone in between at its Long Island-based Computer Learning Center and Mobile Computer Classrooms. SeniorNet is a program of the Family Service League of Long Island.

For many seniors who are accustomed to in-person learning with other students working at the same pace, virtual classes and learning from home was challenging. “There was a bit of trepidation from both students and teachers,” said Robyn Berger-Gaston, Division Director, Family Service League, Inc. “The teachers and coaches created online lessons for our students and also established free webinars that anyone in the world can access.”

Evelyn Mattal, SeniorNet Learning Center Coordinator, said, “We really looked at our mission which is to bring technology to seniors. The senior citizen community has been most impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are separated from family, friends and even SeniorNet.”

How does an organization that assists seniors learn how to use computers and associated technology teach during a time when the only avenue is online learning? “We brought it back to basics and broke down the courses into separate segments,” said Evelyn.

Candy Tinelli, SeniorNet Education Coordinator, added, “We adapted our services to the time and to our clients. We are making the best lemonade out of the worst lemons.”

To ensure that teachers, coaches and students have the best experience, SeniorNet improved its system, established an online registration and payment method, created free webinars and updated its website at www.seniornetli.org

In addition to the online classes and to help seniors even more, SeniorNet’s Computer Refurbishing Program provides computers to seniors who do not have their own computers. SeniorNet’s computer experts rehab donated computers and will get them into the hands and homes of senior citizens. SeniorNet is always looking for donated computers. Any help is welcome during these challenging times..