RALEIGH — In North Carolina, the digital divide — the gulf between those who have ready access to computers and the Internet, and those who do not — is real.

But now there’s an easy way to help out.

As part of North Carolina Digital Inclusion Week, the state’s chief information officer Thomas Parrish has declared today as “Device Day,” challenging local businesses to donate their surplus computers to two nonprofits.

They include: the Kramden Institute and E2D (Eliminate the Digital Divide).

“Without computers, North Carolinians cannot fully leverage the benefits of the internet,” said Secretary Parrish. “We are calling on our corporate partners to help us support Kramden and E2D in reaching their goal of 10,000 donated devices by the end of the year. As we continue to navigate the pandemic and work, learn and connect online, it is especially important to ensure that our residents are not left behind due to lack of resources.”

The Kramden Institute, located in Durham, and E2D, located in Charlotte, refurbish computers and get them to North Carolina residents who need them the most. They have teamed up with NCDIT’s Broadband Infrastructure Office (BIO) as well as NC TECH, the NC Business Committee on Education (NCBCE) and the NC Chamber Foundation for a campaign to collect 10,000 devices by the end of the year.

According to the 2018 American Community survey data, 12.6 percent of North Carolina households do not have access to any type of computing device — including a smartphone — and 5.9 percent of households rely solely on smartphones for a computing device.

“A complete resolution of the digital device gap is doable if more companies can find a way to donate their computers to non-profit refurbishers like us, said Pat Millen, E2D founder and president. “In the past 12 months, we have provided over 4,500 laptops to NC families. If we obtained additional corporate technology, we could quadruple our output immediately.”

This campaign is primarily focused on large-scale corporate donations. Both Kramden and E2D offer free pickups of assets, data destruction, and certified downstream recycling of e-waste. Both organizations also accept individual donations. For more information about donating to E2D contact denise@e-2-d.org, and for information about donating to Kramden, contact jricker@kramden.org.