Donation from William Gay to Best of the Batch Foundation Will Pay for Internet Essentials Service from Comcast
PITTSBURGH – July 28, 2020 – Low-income families in Pittsburgh can get home broadband connections during the COVID-19 pandemic with help from the Best of the Batch Foundation and former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back William Gay.
As the pandemic forces many families to stay at home for school and work, Gay is making a $7,500 donation to former Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch’s Best of the Batch Foundation – which Comcast is matching – to pay for home internet service for 250 local families through Comcast’s Internet Essentials program. Gay appeared in two Super Bowls during his 10-year career in Pittsburgh, where he was a teammate of Batch’s.
“When the COVID-19 shutdowns started and schools had to close, I thought of all the kids that don’t have the internet at home and who already struggle every day because of the tough circumstances they are growing up with,” said Gay, now a defensive backs coach at Missouri State University. “These children and their families are disconnected from the valuable resources of the internet that will help them succeed in school and in life. With reliable home internet service from a provider like Comcast, they can get fully connected and help level the playing field.”
Gay is also issuing a challenge to other current and former professional athletes to make similar donations to nonprofit and community-based organizations to help bridge the digital divide for families in need of home broadband service. He’s asking those interested to email IEGetConnectedChallenge@comcast.com for more information.
“The Best of the Batch Foundation is proud to work with Will Gay and Comcast to increase connectivity for low-income families in the Pittsburgh area,” said Batch, who spent nine seasons with the Steelers and now supports more than 3,800 school-aged children and their families across eight Western Pennsylvania counties since creating his foundation 21 years ago. “Closing the digital divide has never been more important with so many workers and students at home, and we encourage more athletes here to follow Will’s lead and take up this challenge.”
Internet Essentials from Comcast is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program for low-income Americans and provides internet service for $9.95 a month for qualified households in Comcast’s service footprint, plus the option to purchase a low-cost Internet-ready computer and multiple options to access free digital skills training. In response to the pandemic, Comcast is offering the first two months, or 60 days, of service for free to new customers who sign up through the end of the year. For more information on Internet Essentials, visit www.InternetEssentials.com.
Gay is also making sure families in need in his hometown of Tallahassee are staying connected with another $7,500 donation, also matched by Comcast, to the Foundation for Leon County Public Schools to pay for Internet Essentials service for 360 families from the neighborhood where he grew up.