If you can cast your memory that far back, Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast of America last year between October 22 2012 and October 31 2012. In total, Hurricane Sandy cost a total of $68 billion (£42 bn/€49.5 bn), the second most expensive hurricane in US history. Clean up operations are still being undertaken, and Google has decided to do its part in the best way they feel they can. Google is donating 17,000 Nexus 7 tablets to the New York Governors office and the New York State Community Action Agency. In a press release, Susan Molinari, VP of Government Relations at Google said:
We believe that technology can and does play a compelling role in rebuilding communities to make them more resilient and stronger. Increasingly, more and more people are using technology and the internet to educate themselves or provide for their families. Our hope is that these tablets will be a resource to do just that.
Before you get all excited and start waiting on street corners, these tablets will be donated to libraries, small business development organisations and senior and youth community centers. These will use the Google hardware to run programs and services which are aimed at helping communities to get back on their feet. The New York Governor’s office has an Excel spreadsheet downloadable, which will show you where the tablets will be distributed. The press release doesn’t state if Google is donating Nexus 7 tablets from 2013, which I reviewed recently, or the 2012 model. It also doesn’t say how many tablets they are donating other than the total donation is equivalent to $2.7 million (£1.68 million/€1.96 million).
To be honest, that’s not the point. The point is that Google is helping out with a massive donation to help people after a time of crisis. Ok, it’s not $2.7 million cash, which could help build raw materials; it’s, if you’ll pardon the parlance, a geeks (albeit a very large geek with billions of dollars at it’s back) way of helping out. What I particularly like is that this is one year after the event. I must admit, I haven’t given Hurricane Sandy much thought since last year, and I bet neither had you, unless it had affected you personally. What this does is bring back to light the thought of all the damage and lives changed. Cynic would say they’re only doing it for the publicity, but that’s just a nice side effect for Google (it’s not like they need it). What this really does, is help out communities in need, 12 months after the event has turned their community, and in some case their lives, upside down. Well done Google!