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Santa Barbara brothers raise money to help students access wifi during distance learning

San Marcos students
Blake DeVine / NC3
San Marcos students Jaden Lind (left) and Jordan Lind (right) have created a wifi fund campaign for the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Two brothers at San Marcos High, 17-year-old Jaden Lind and 15-year-old Jordan Lind, are used to giving back to both their own community and communities far away.

Seven years ago, Jordan wrote a letter to Santa asking for 20 blankets to distribute to the homeless in Santa Barbara, and this began their focus on helping those in need. 

Just over a year ago, they traveled to India with their family and distributed holiday gifts at an orphanage.

While many kids their age are focused on Zoom-ing with their friends and having fun, Jaden and Jordan continue to give back by volunteering at local homeless shelters serving food every weekend.

It has now almost been a year of distance learning for students in the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

“Distance learning has been really difficult for me because I get really distracted easily,” Jordan said.

“The main problem for me is just my concentration in the classroom,” Jaden said.

When COVID-19 caused schools to shut down, the brothers learned that many families at the time did not have access to wifi.

“I noticed that there weren’t a lot of people showing up to class,” Jordan said. “Then I realized a lot of classmates that I knew didn’t have wifi.”

To help those in need, the water polo players created a wifi fund campaign.

“I just wanted to do my part to get involved,” Jaden said. “Try to help out my peers.”

They immediately started reaching out to extended family and friends to organize a wifi fund campaign for the district and successfully raised over $14,500.

Funds were donated to the Santa Barbara Education Foundation (SBEF), a nonprofit that raises money for the Santa Barbara Unified School District. 

“With 3,000 families in the district in need of financial support to pay for quality wifi so their kids can participate in remote learning, Jaden and Jordan’s generous donation will go a long way towards meeting this need,” SBEF executive director Margie Yayhavi said. “We truly can’t thank them enough.”

Thus far, the Lind brothers have successfully supported over 2,200 families in need.

“It gets distributed in these little wifi boxes,” Jaden said. “Each box gets given to a household and from that point on, they’re connected.”

Although internet access for disadvantaged students has been an ongoing issue, the pandemic has put the problem in the spotlight.

“I’ve been talking to friends, family and my community in general,” Jaden concluded. “Just trying to see who is willing to donate.”

To donate to their wifi fund campaign, you can visit their website.

California / Coronavirus / Education / Health / Lifestyle / Outdoors / Safe at Home / Santa Barbara - South County / Technology
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Blake DeVine

Blake DeVine is a multimedia journalist at NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Blake, click here.

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