Every year, the Victim Assistance Program in Akron cares for 7,000 crime victims and their families.
It’s a difficult task for survivors and those who counsel them.
On Friday, the folks at Toshiba tried to make the work a little more efficient as the company honored the local program as one of its five “Helping the Helpers” technology makeover contest winners.
The victim advocacy agency won a Facebook vote after producing a two-minute video on why it deserves a helping hand. Toshiba gave the agency about $31,000 in products and services, including an all-in-one desktop computer, a laptop computer, a large-screen high-definition TV, a camcorder, a computer tablet, memory cards and even a few LED light bulbs.
During a ceremony Friday, Toshiba and victim advocates were joined by representatives from several government agencies who presented “Helping the Helpers” proclamations from offices ranging from Gov. John Kasich to U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown to Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic.
“We are thrilled to have already implemented a lot of the technology, and it’s already definitely impacted many of the victims that we serve in a positive way,” said Leanne Graham, the program’s executive director.
Graham said the award will allow the agency to more effectively and efficiently help people “unfairly affected by crime while supporting them in their quest for justice.”
The Victim Assistance Program is one of five nonprofit agencies recognized this year in the annual national contest sponsored by the worldwide electronics manufacturer.
Stephen Kareha, branch sales manager of Toshiba Business Solution’s regional office, said more than 80 video entries were submitted nationally. Toshiba’s goal, he said, is to help those agencies that help others.
“We know how important technology is to Victim Assistance and to all organizations that are out there helping people,” he said. “We know this technology is going to improve the situation here at Victim Assistance and more importantly improve the service that they can pass on to the people that they serve.”
To learn more about the Victim Assistance Program in Akron, go to www.victimassistanceprogram.org or call 330-376-0040.