An elf named Benjamin toils away along the sandy shore
These high tech elves are kept busy year-round helping out Cape kids in need
CapeCodToday.com has received exclusive information and photographs about a branch of "Santa’s Workshop" at an undisclosed location on Cape Cod.
Through confidential sources inside the Masonic Angel Foundation’s Laptops for KidZ project, our editors learned that the satellite workshop is operated by an elf named Benjamin who devotes much of his time to refurbishing and repairing computers for use by Cape Cod school children of all ages.
In just the past three weeks, Benjamin has refurbished about twenty computers for a joint project Laptops for KidZ is conducting with the Cape Cod Collaborative.
Laptops for KidZ usually works with laptop computers but most of Benjamin’s recent work has focused on a large group of Dell desktop computer that were donated for a special project of the Cape Cod Collaborative (CCC). The Collaborative often deploys desktop computers for use by the students they serve because often the machines require special configurations that are better suited to a desktop computer. The joint project enables LFK to refurbish the computers and make them ready for classroom use by the Collaborative.
Benjamin’s red Jeep was observed several times at the CCC campus in Osterville as he picked up and delivered computers to the staff there. Several times he was accompanied by his helper, another elf rumored to be named Mario.
Apparently Cape Cod elves drive Red Jeeps as opposed to sleighs, though the Jeep’s name is reported to be Rudolph.
In recent weeks our sources have sighted other elfin helpers delivering as many as forty laptop computers to other schools on Cape Cod. Elves Joey, Mikey, Cindy, Timmy, Sallie, Bobby, Billy, and Rex have been seen carrying laptops anywhere from Falmouth and Provincetown.
When reached for comment, Laptops for KidZ project director Mario Meré confirmed that the program had refurbished approximately sixty computers since April, including twenty in the past few weeks. Mr. Meré would neither confirm nor deny the assistance of Santa’s elves in the project. "We’re very busy," he reports. "Every computer must be disassembled, cleaned, missing parts replaced, hard drives overwritten, Windows installed, systems tested and software loaded. It takes skill, patience and persistence for our volunteers to do this work." Mario insists that his volunteers do not live in a tree, nor do they bake cookies in the off-season. "My volunteers are busy every month of the year, not just at Christmas."
Masonic Angel Foundation president and co-founder Robert Fellows is pleased with the project. "We started Laptops for KidZ last April and thought it would be a very modest project. Very soon it became clear that the project would grow much faster than we anticipated. In addition to the laptops donated by TD Bank, International Fund for Animal Welfare and many private individuals, the Cape Cod Collaborative approached us recently about working with them on a joint project to refurbish a large number of desktop computers that were being donated to the Collaborative for classroom instruction. A wonderful gentleman named Ben Richardson stepped up to take the lead on refurbishing dozens of machines." According to Fellows, Mr. Richardson takes six machines at a time and works on them simultaneously at his workshop. "Ben makes computer refurbishing a real labor of love. He wants every computer to be perfect because he knows a child is going to sit in front of that machine. Ben does the best work in our organization – his machines look as close to brand new as possible."
When asked about the North Pole connection, Fellows laughed, "You might very well think that but I could not possibly comment!" (With apologies to Michael Dobbs and Sir Ian Richardson)
As with all activities of the Masonic Angel Foundation, the program's volunteers never know the identity of a recipient child. All transactions are conducted at arm's length with the school professionals working as a go-between to preserve privacy. LFK does not accept direct requests from potential recipients. Requests for laptops must come through a school or other partner agency. LFK computers are configured in English and are only available to legal residents of the United States.
Laptops for KidZ accepts donations of functional Windows-based notebook computers.
"Functional" means that the laptop will power up and is accompanied by its proper AC adapter. LFK generally does not accept donations of desktops or monitors and does not accept any Apple product. Donations to the 501(c)(3) Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. are tax deductible.
For more information about the Laptops for KidZ program visit www.laptopsforkidZ.org.
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