When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Diane Morales’ hours were slashed at work. Financially strained and now a teacher to her kids, who had no computer to complete their assignments, Morales turned to Communities In Schools of Houston (CIS).

CIS Student Support Specialist Roy Reyes talked Morales through the uncertainty and grief her family was feeling. He also arranged for her children to receive a computer.

Morales’ family is among thousands of pre-registered families receiving computers from CIS and Comp-U-Dopt this month to help students with schoolwork and more.

“I’ve been doing my best to help [my children] using the district’s packets and my phone,” Morales said. “I am so grateful for this computer and all of the support provided.”

CIS provides comprehensive services for students and families trying to cope with hardships, doing whatever it takes to help break down barriers to students’ success. Since campuses closed in March, students have reported the lack of technology as one of their biggest challenges to continuing their education and accessing much-needed resources.

“As our team of CIS student support specialists reaches out to families every day, the lack of computers continues to be a significant challenge for so many,” CIS of Houston CEO Lisa Descant said. “We’re excited to team up with Comp-U-Dopt to help direct computers to thousands of deserving students.”

Comp-U-Dopt and CIS are distributing 5,000 computers throughout May to students at participating schools in Aldine, Alief, Fort Bend, Houston, Southwest Schools, and Spring Branch public school districts.

“We’re privileged to join CIS as they continue their ongoing work to support students in times of need. CIS staff say their students are eager to reconnect with teachers, counselors, and friends. Computers provide access to critical lessons and assignments while also bringing a student’s support network into their home,” Comp-U-Dopt Houston Executive Director Colin Dempsey said.

These distributions were made possible with contributions from HP through the Global Business Coalition for Education and by a $1 million gift from Eric and Shanna Bass.

Comp-U-Dopt continues to accept donations for more computers, and a COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund has been set up by CIS to help more families access groceries, basic needs and maintain utilities during the pandemic.