Transcript Staff Writer

One area organization received an early Christmas present -- a grant for new computers.

Kay Christiansen, executive director of Norman's Bethesda Inc., said they received a $17,208 grant from AT--T to fund office technology equipment and training. Christiansen said they will use the grant to purchase updated computers to assist the staff.

"We're going to buy new computers for the entire agency and have them hooked up to the same network with high-speed Internet," Christiansen said. "This is so exciting for us.

"Our staff is a therapeutic staff, not a technological staff. This way we'll be able to spend our time with patients."

According to a release, Bethesda Inc. is one of 11 nonprofit organizations in Oklahoma and more than 480 nationally that are receiving $6 million in AT--T Excelerator technology grants from the AT--T Foundation. Linda Coldwell, communications officer for the museum, said that earlier this month, the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History received one of the grants for $5,000 for a podcast program.

"The AT--T Foundation awards Excelerator grants to nonprofit organizations that are planning to use technology to expand the reach of their services and increase the impact those services have on people," said Jan Moran, AT--T area manager. "We are pleased to provide this grant to a Norman organization that provides such an important service to our community."

And with less time arranging notes and more time focusing on serving the community, Christiansen said with the grant already awarded, the computers will be up and running by the end of January.

"Our main purpose is to end the trauma of child sexual abuse and seek prevention," she said. "(The computers) will enable us to spend more time with clients and less time writing notes. It will also allow us to see more clients. We just really appreciate the support."

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