Bridgestone Retail Operations (BSRO), a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas, has donated $100,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio to provide local Club kids access to technology resources and bridge digital divides. The gift was announced at Firestone Country Club during the Bridgestone senior players championship and is part of the Bridgestone Driving Great Futures program that supports Boys & Girls Clubs through customer and teammate donations at all 2,200 BSRO stores nationwide, the company says.
The company says with this donation, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio will be able to provide equipment, enhanced internet access, hotspots and other resources to help Club Kids gain access to digital tools they may otherwise go without. In addition to 11 area BSRO stores, Northeast Ohio is home to the Bridgestone Americas Technical Center.
The company says the digital divide has been an emerging issue for youth across Northeast Ohio and was further magnified in the past year by the pandemic. Following the most recent Census Cleveland, the city now has the worst wireline connection rate in the country among large cities with 3% of its households lacking broadband access and 46% not having any wired connections. With more clubs in the region reopening this fall, the donation will help Club kids keep pace academically by increasing and improving digital access at more locations, Bridgestone says.
Last year, Bridgestone raised $3.6 million for Boys & Girls Clubs of America that helped provide technology, transportation, and out-of-school support for Club kids and teens amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2015, Bridgestone has contributed a total of $15.3 million to Boys & Girls Clubs of America.