Project would provide laptops for children and families that cannot afford them
In recent months, we have explored a project that would have Masonic Angel Foundation (MAF) volunteers refurbishing donated laptop computers for free distribution (through our usual school partner contacts) to families that cannot afford a home computer.
With both planned replacement of older laptops by successful businesses and thousands of laptops “warehoused” by businesses that laid off large numbers of employees, there are many excellent sources of donated computers. Indeed, most of we MAF volunteers probably have an old laptop or two sitting in the back of a closet at home.
A laptop “refurbished” for distribution to a family would be a newly-configured machine with donated Microsoft or Open Source software pre-loaded. Each machine would be configured and tested by one of our volunteers.
Senior volunteers here at the Foundation have recently undergone training in how to administer a charitable laptop refurbishing program. The next step is for us to begin to train volunteers in the process and protocols of the hands-on work involved with refurbishing donated computers.
Do you have an old laptop computer?
In order to train volunteers, we need to gather up between thirty and fifty donated laptops to use for process development and volunteer training. Do you have an old laptop that you would be willing to donate to the Masonic Angel Foundation?
While we encourage donors to wipe the hard drives on computers they will contribute, the very first part of our refurbishment protocol is to “zap” the hard drive, permanently removing all data on the drive. This protects everyone’s security and ensures that no virus or malware could survive on the computer. If a hard drive is not usable or cannot be cleared, it will be physically destroyed.
Since these machines will be used for training purposes, we ask that the laptop be known to be functional. “Functional” means that it will boot. Battery life is not an issue nor is the level of the operating system. Any functional laptop from a Pentium I on up would be fine. If you happen to have the original operating system and drive CDs that would be ideal but is not absolutely necessary.
If you have a laptop you would like to donate to the MAF “Laptops for Kids Project” pilot test, please contact us via [email protected] or by calling 508-255-8812.
We will issue a 501(c)(3) substantiation letter for all donated laptops.
Once the pilot test machines are refurbished, they will be distributed through school contacts of Masonic Angel Funds in the Cape Cod area.
If the pilot test is successful, we will seek donations of large lots of laptops through corporate and financial market sources.
Courtesy of the Masonic Angel Fund.