Air date: Saturday, 14 November 2015
Guest: Leslie Morissette
Host: Steve Woods (Stevoe)
Studio Contributor: Debi Davis
Executive Producer: Emily Sullivan (Sully)
With a great idea born from an unfortunate experience, Leslie Morissette founded Grahamtastic Connection after her son, Graham, lost his batter with cancer. She and over 70 volunteers now help to provide technology to children who are sick and hospitalized with no internet connection. With her help, these children are able to attend classes with their peers, communicate with family, and research support groups.
Since 1997, Grahamtastic Connection has gifted over 1,200 laptops/tablets to children in need. The newest piece of technology provided is VGo robots. These allow the children to control a robot from their tablet and attend classes with their peers, “sit” with them at lunch, and, in one case, attend a Portland Pirates hockey game. The foundation currently has 5 robots in available and in use in Maine, but Morissette hopes to acquire several more since they are such a valuable tool.
While Morissette is the only actual employee, she has a tremendous amount of help from local vocational school students in Westbrook and Sanford. The teachers at these schools have altered their curriculum to help Grahamtastic Connection clean the technology inside and out and to prepare them to be donated. It is a mutually beneficial situation where the students are learning, Morissette saves time and money, and the children in need get the technology in great condition. Grahamtastic Connection is also helped out by Moody’s Collision Center locations where anyone can drop off any technology they would like to donate with their name and address and Morissette will mail a form for tax purposes.
To learn more about Grahamtastic Connection, please visit their website: grahamtastic.org and listen to Leslie Morissette’s interview below!