Russell Westbrook is simply a solid guy, and regardless of your opinion of Westbrook the player you can’t knock how giving he’s always been to the city he’s playing in. For the past 11 years, he gave everything to the city of Oklahoma City. During his entire adult life, he’s given back to his South Central community in Los Angeles. This year, he’s given a commendable amount to Houston, and his latest contribution may be his best, given the current state of America.
Donated through his Why Not? Foundation, Westbrook purchases 650 laptop computers to aid in online learning for children in Houston who can’t attend school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like everywhere else, Houston has closed its schools due to the outbreak.
This new ‘digital divide’ is real for so many kids, and it’s more common in inner-city areas. What is the digital divide? It’s when many students’ families don’t have the home infrastructure or technology to transition to this 100% online distance learning plan.
“I’m extremely excited to be able to collaborate with Comp-U-Dopt and find ways to be able to impact the youth immediately,” Westbrook said Monday at a press conference with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “It’s something that I’m very, very passionate about through my foundation, and I’m just trying to find a way, especially now, to be able to bridge the gap and give kids access to another way of learning, through computers. This allows them to be able to continue their education, especially from home. I’m happy to be a part of it.”
According to Comp-U-Dopt, 83 percent of those receiving laptop computers are living in households earning less than $35,000 per year. Comp-U-Dopt has distributed close to 1,000 to families in Houston.
The generous gift will allow us to significantly increase our inventory and ensure we can continue to close the gap for Houston families most in need,” said Colin Dempsey, executive director at Comp-U-Dopt.
Of Houston’s 10 largest school districts, nearly nine percent of households (nearly 142,650) don’t have a computer, according to the U.S. Census. Nearly 20 percent (267,250 households), don’t have broadband internet access, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Westbrook is relatively new to the Rockets, not even a year integrated into the community, but he’s wasted no time giving back in a large way to the Houston area during this COVID-19 pandemic.