"So when we discovered that we could get [the software] through CTX it was amazing. It's a sum equivalent to bringing half a dozen children on a respite break."

— Rod Webb-Taylor, CHICKS

Software Donations Help Disadvantaged Birmingham Kids Go on Holiday

CHICKS is a children's charity that provides six-day holidays to children from across the U.K. The young people who are referred to CHICKS live with a variety of issues such as poverty, neglect, abuse, and loss of a parent. A CHICKS break gives the children an opportunity to step away from their stressful lives and just be kids. CHICKS' four offices are in Devon, Tywardreath, Birmingham, and Glasgow. 

In 2011, a little over 1,100 children enjoyed a break with CHICKS at one of its two retreats in Brentor and Tywardreath. During the CHICKS break, children experience everything from pony trekking and rock climbing to building sand castles and flying kites. Every child goes home with a memory bag full of photos from their experience; sometimes these are the only photos the child has. They also leave with a postage-paid envelope so that they can write to the people they met on break. 

A great deal of administrative background work is necessary to give so many children a holiday each year. The organization's case notes, records, reports, and statistics need to be easily accessible to its fundraisers and referrals across the U.K, so the staff need to maintain what has become a very large database. 

Through Charity Technology Exchange, the donation program of Charity Technology Trust, a partner of the TechSoup Global Network, the organization received Microsoft donations. These donations give CHICKS the technological stability, security, and reliability it needs to reach its goal of taking 1,200 children on holiday in 2012.