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Gameheads CEO ‘Speechless’ After Receiving 100 Donated Laptops from AppLovin Cares

by Claire Tak on Aug 13, 2020

Don’t you love it when you can seize a moment to do some more good in this world? AppLovin definitely does—it’s one of the reasons we regularly donate, volunteer, and make an impact in the community through AppLovin Cares

A donation opportunity ripe for the pickin’

In the process of moving AppLovin’s headquarters (due to the acquisition of Machine Zone), AppLovin’s IT manager Hugo Velis noticed a lot of unused laptops, TVs, tablets, and accessories stored away in the closets. After pulling out the equipment and organizing the inventory, the team quickly realized we didn’t need this for our current staff. 

The Machine Zone office, prior to packing up.

Hugo’s first thought was that this was a lot of expensive equipment that needed to be moved and housed somewhere. But where

Much of the equipment was practically brand new and Hugo wanted to put them to good use for a worthy cause. 

Giving to a worthy cause

Hugo saw an opportunity to donate 100 laptops to Gameheads, an Oakland-based non-profit that helps low-income youth prepare for careers in tech and the gaming industry, he immediately brought it to the attention of AppLovin Cares. 

“There was a lot of unused equipment just sitting there. I kept thinking, ‘‘This could help a lot of young students who want to learn more about tech!”

Hugo used to work closely with Gameheads Board Chair, Alfonso Hooker. He decided to reach out to see if he could use the laptops. He snapped a photo of the equipment and sent Alfonso a text. 

Hugo organized laptops into bins for Gameheads.

The text thread went something like this: 

Hugo: Need any of this?

  • 60 Macbook Pros
  • 25 Lenovo laptops
  • 20 Chromebooks

Plus!

  • 3 desktop units
  • 35 access points (routers)
  • 20-40 port switches 
  • 5 TVs
  • 3 interactive displays 

Less than a minute later…

Alfonso: WHAT?! YES. I’m speechless!

Hugo: I got you!

Alfonso: [Insert dancing emoji]

After coordinating, Alfonso rented a truck and drove to Palo Alto. 

He recalled, “I actually had to make two trips because it wouldn’t all fit. I am incredibly grateful to have the inventory to be able to provide for the youth that come through our doors.”

How Gameheads makes an impact

Gameheads helps young people (ages 15 to 24) who want to develop careers in the video game industry. The students mostly come from minority communities and underprivileged backgrounds. 

Through Gameheads, students can learn how to code, design, project manage, work collaboratively, and create stories. 

Many of them are also about to graduate high school and apply for college to pursue STEAM-related degrees (STEAM stands for: science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics). This helps prepare for entrance into the gaming industry. 

Alfonso beamed, “With AppLovin’s donation, we can grow and extend our course offerings and align more kids with computers.” 

Who knows, maybe one day a Gamehead grad could land a job at AppLovin! 

Claire Tak is Marketing Manager, Content at AppLovin.