BLOGS & NEWS

COVID-19 and Nonprofits

With over 10 million cases, 200 thousand deaths, and the shutdown of businesses and schools across the nation, each one of us has, in some way, been impacted by the effects of COVID-19. From famous celebrities like Tom Hanks and Mel Gibson to everyday civilians, millions have been diagnosed with the contagious virus and are having to navigate through a new normal. In May of 2020, over 20 million Americans filed for unemployment and over 300 companies filed for bankruptcy and claimed COVID-19 was to blame.2 However, not everyone experienced financial troubles. Essential companies such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and food delivery services remained open during the pandemic and have been quite successful. 

One critical industry that was negatively affected by this pandemic were charities and nonprofit organizations. The demand from communities who were already struggling with things like rent, food, and other basic needs is at an all-time high, and with volunteers staying home and a reduction in donations, nonprofits are struggling to find new ways to increase revenue and connect with their community. Independent Sector3 conducted a survey that “illustrates that the pandemic and the resulting economic shutdown has had significant effects on the services, operations, and the people working in the nonprofit sector.” They reported an overall reduction in revenue for 83% of nonprofits due to canceled events and closed operations, and a 47% reduction in employment. Taking a closer look at lost revenue, they found that earned revenue decreased by 83%, individual giving decreased by 53% and philanthropic grants decreased by 33%. 

The survey asked “What types of additional assistance would be most helpful to your organization?” and an overwhelming amount of responses suggested for “additional assistance in the form of forgivable loans.” Regardless of what type of assistance is received by nonprofits, every bit of help makes an impact. Some ways to support your local nonprofits are:

  1. Donate money, supplies or time
  2. Attend fundraising events or volunteer opportunities
  3. Share campaigns on social media
  4. Use your voice to advocate for individuals and organizations that need help

Nonprofits support communities year-round and with your help, they can make an even bigger impact during this pandemic. For more ways to get involved, check out your local United Way website to help make a difference. 

 

Run Hide Fight

The film “Run Hide Fight”, which just premiered at the Venice Film Festival, has moved and shocked its viewers by reflecting a stark reality that still feels latent in schools in the United States.

 

The film brings to the table a delicate issue that we still seek to overcome as a society. Through the story of Zoe Hull (17), the viewer can identify with the typical problems that an adolescent faces in high school, and also confront the specter of violence in our schools.

 

The director, Kyle Rankin said: “Writing Run Hide Fight was how I dealt with my own fear and helplessness regarding mass shootings. My intent was never to exploit anyone’s pain, but to potentially kickstart respectful conversations about guns in America. By design, the final film is neither pro- nor anti-gun, so that it might encourage more dialogue than division, especially between friends who fall on opposite sides of this complex issue”.

Rankin continued,  “I hope as audiences experience the film, they’ll  consider what choices they’d make and who they’d want to be if they found themselves in Zoe’s position. Ultimately, the film is meant to ring emotionally true, and leave moviegoers with a memory that almost feels like their own”. 

 

According to The Trace, the U.S. has had 1,316 school shootings since 1970 and these numbers are increasing. 18% of school shootings have taken place since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. 

First step is discussion, but which is the path to prevention?

 

Despite being a profoundly complex subject, there is just so much we can do. According to the Children Hospital of Philadelphia’s Research Institute, there are 3 key solutions:

 

  • Begin with School Climate: Building a cohesive and supportive school environment is key to preventing school shootings and traumatic events like other types of mass shootings.

 

  • Health Care Settings: Health care providers can also help in preventing school shootings. They are positioned to identify young patients at risk. At CHOP, primary care and emergency care providers can utilize behavioral health screening tools to identify, assess and refer patients for mental health services to prevent mental illness from being left untreated or ignored. Medical professionals can partner with specific, local mental health providers to establish clear communication, consultation, and referral pathways for at-risk patients.

 

  • Addressing Risk of Violence with Programs and Policy: To reduce the risk for individuals with emotional and behavioral challenges to become violent.

 

And finally, a crucial measure that we can take is to streamline the systems and protocols related to potential emergency situations in our schools, reducing response time and promoting platforms that unify communication within the school and towards the authorities. These might be baby steps but each one counts and could save a life.

What Is Considered Bullying

Introduction

Bullying is a term that has become commonplace in schools. But what officially characterizes a bully in school settings? As defined by NSSC (National School Safety Center) in 2006, “bullying is a form of violence that hurts others.” The Centers for Disease Control and Department of Education established the first federal definition in 2014. This definition has 3 core elements:

  • unwanted aggressive behavior
  • observed or perceived power imbalance
  • repetition or high likelihood of repetition of bullying behaviors

We will take a quick look at these key definitions. We can’t stop bullying if we aren’t all clear on the definition.

What is Bullying?

According to Wikipedia, you know we all trust them, “For an act to be considered bullying, it must meet certain criteria. These include hostile intent, imbalance of power, repetition, distress, and provocation…There are four types of bullying, which includes verbal, physical, psychological, and cyber.” Now let’s dive a little deeper.

In 2006, Hilda Clarice Quiroz published an overview of school bullying, how to identify bullies, and what to do when bullying happens. According to Quiroz, “School bullying happens at school or during school-sponsored activities when a student or group of students intentionally and repeatedly uses their power to hurt other individuals or groups.” Still consistent with today’s Wikipedia but take note that the cyber category was not a concern in 2006. In other words, our children cannot escape a bully today. Cyberbullying can be undetected by friends, parents, and schools with direct messaging and Snap Chat’s instant deletion of messages.

Many of us think of bullying as a physical altercation but times have changed. Quiroz defined 2 types of bullying: 

Direct:

  • hitting, tripping, shoving, pinching, excessive tickling
  • verbal threats, name-calling, racial slurs, insults 
  • demanding money, property, service
  • stabbing, choking, burning, and shooting

Indirect:

  • rejecting, excluding, isolating
  • ranking or rating, humiliating 
  • manipulating friends and relationships
  • writing hurtful or threatening e-mails and postings on web sites
  • blackmailing, terrorizing, and proposing dangerous dares

Why is Defining Bullying Important?

Without a universal definition of a bully, education of identifying a bully, and solutions to stop bullying, we may never see a decrease in school violence – school shootings, fights, suicides, etc. While definitions may vary, the effects on the targeted child could be fatal – either for the child or in the form of retaliation. It is a problem that our entire society should join together to resolve. In 2019, National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice reported 20% of 12-18-year-olds experienced bullying nationwide. That’s one in five! According to the CDC, “we know that bullying behavior and suicide-related behavior are closely related. This means youth who report any involvement with bullying behavior is more likely to report high levels of suicide-related behavior than youth who do not report any involvement with bullying behavior.” 

What can we do? Talk to your school, teachers, and children. Be the change that moves us past this cycle of destruction. 

 

Click here to add your own text

Women In Tech

The Sonar Company presents Women in Tech! Six amazing women in technology share their journeys, and roads to success in a male dominated industry. Women play a vital role in the on going innovation of the tech world. Join us as we celebrate their hard work and encourage women everywhere to consider diving in to the world of technology!

The Dead Zone

Dead Zone is a term people are far too familiar with. A Dead Zone is an area in a home or building where a device should receive Wifi  or internet, but the connection is blocked. Anything that interferes with WiFi radio waves produces a dead zone.WiFi works off of the same principle as other wireless devices – it uses radio frequencies to send signals between devices.

Interference can occur from inadequate bandwidth from your router, miss positioning of router antennas, and even building materials and structures. Dead zones can be more than just an inconvenience in schools, hospitals and jails. Emergency situations need immediate responses without fail.

Dead zone interference during an emergency situation can prevent alerts and protocol from being sent. This can lead to serious life threatening consequences in certain situations.

The Sonar Company conducted testing, with a jail interested in our SafeWave product, after an experience they had with a prison guard. He was unable to call for backup and a prisoner died. Their guard was attempting to reach other guards,but could not due to a  dead zone. Walkie talkies are typically the device of choice due to security regulations. Thick walls, in jails, can even prevent radio communication between walkie talkies from being received and they do not rely on internet connection.

Hospitals rely on internet access to run efficiently, but they too experience dead zones. One of the major reasons medical professionals still use pagers is because it is easier for them to penetrate through the thick hospital walls. Pagers rely on satellites, which is why they are  trusted to ensure messages can get to the appropriate doctor. While they may be more reliable, pagers remain to only serve as a one way communication tool. The need for two-way communication is why 78% of hospitals have doctors and nurses use cell phones as a primary means of communication. This is why Hospitals need to find a dead zone solution.

Schools and campuses also experience dead zones throughout their campus. Construction materials are built to be sturdy to withstand a possible fire or natural disaster. Schools typically use SMS messaging for internal communication amongst teachers, faculty and staff. Not only does SMS not deliver up to 10% of messages sent, but dead zones interfere as well. In an emergency situation 100% of alerts need to be sent and received.  

How can you fix a dead zone in your building?

First to identify a dead zone. Pick up a mobile device that is connected to your network and walk around. When you lose service, you have hit a dead zone. This is the simplest way to find your problem areas.

A temporary fix is to move the router to a different location, which could create a dead zone somewhere else, or replace the antennas of the router. Using a router repeater or connecting weather net cable are also a potential fix, however it is not a wireless solution. 

So what is the best solution? 

Communicate without the need of Wifi or Internet connection.

It is  uncommon knowledge that ultrasonic waves can be used to send and receive messages and other content. This is referred to as Data-Over-Audio and it is the future of communication.

Check out this link to see how Ultrasonic Sound waves can be your solution.

Nicholas Hayward SafeWave Give Away

With rising physical and mental health concerns across the nation, SafeWave can make sure you are prepared and equipped with the most reliable resources. The Sonar Company invites schools across Texas to apply for the Nicholas Hayward SafeWave give away for a chance to win our alert system for free. The Sonar Company is also accepting nominations for schools to enter from parents, teachers or anyone with a loved one who is attending a Texas K12 school. 

The Sonar Company would not be where it is today without Nicholas Hayward. With this contest we are thanking him and honoring his dream. 

Nicholas Hayward was the Co-Founder and CEO of the Sonar Company. He had a vision for his company that was driven by passion and determination. Nick’s level of determination was possessed by few, and admired by many. Nick worked more, and slept less than the average professional, but somehow still managed to be there not only for his friends and family, but for his community as well. Nick was a strong believer in giving back and always envisioned creating an avenue through his company. He planned to give the alert system, SafeWave, to less privileged schools, with limited budgets, even before he had the chance to make a profit.

Today, after a month and a half since his passing, The Sonar Company is proud to announce the Nicholas Hayward SafeWave giveaway in his honor. We know Nick would support this decision and proudly have his name attached to it. 

SafeWave decreases emergency response time, less than 10 seconds, giving school officials the power to react faster and save more lives. With the use of ultrasonic sound wave technology, SafeWave transmits data-over-audio without relying on the internet or Wifi. SafeWave uses the school’s existing speakers and an easy to use back office that does not require any hardware installation. With the push of a button an in audible tone is sent from the speaker, and picked up by designated cell phones. The cell phone decodes the alert that is embedded within the tone and the corresponding school protocol appears on the screen within seconds. For schools without a speaker system, SafeWave has a proprietary alternative system that still does not require an internet connection, and works just as fast. SafeWave provides the fastest, most reliable alert system regardless of available technology.

Below, you will find the application and nomination forms along with the rules and guidelines for the contest. If you have any questions or would like to know more, please email [email protected].

Click here for the Application:NHG Application

Click here for the Nomination Form:NHG Nomination Form

Click here for Rules and Regulations: Nick Hayward Contest Rules

Back to School During COVID-19