Overlook Visiting Nurse Association donates five Laptops for KidZ

The first of many as health care group upgrades its systems
Overlook Visiting Nurse Association and the Masonic Health System recently donated five computers to the Laptops for KidZ Project. Pictured outside the West Yarmouth OVNA office are (left to right) Masonic Angel Foundation CFO Lorrimer Armstrong, Jr., LF

The Overlook Visiting Nurse Association, part of the Masonic Health System, has donated five notebook computers to the Masonic Angel Foundation’s Laptops for KidZ project.  The health care group is upgrading to newer systems and is donating its surplus laptops to Laptops for KidZ.

Laptops for KidZ (LFK) places laptop computers with local schools to be sent home with children who would not otherwise have computer access outside school hours.  LFK has placed 290 computers since April 2010.

Overlook Visiting Nurse Association, Inc. is a not-for-profit home health care agency and one component of the Masonic Health System, offering home health services that allow patients to maintain independence in the home.  Since its inception in 2000, OVNA has grown to offer services such as: Lifeline (Personal Emergency Response Service), maternal/child health care, certified home health aides, companion, hospice, physical/occupational/speech therapy, rehabilitation therapy services, psychiatric nursing care, enhanced home care and social services.

The Masonic Angel Foundation’s Laptops for KidZ project is a member of the Microsoft Registered Refurbisher program which provides generous pricing on “citizenship licenses” for Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Windows 7 Professional.

Most laptops are delivered to the schools configured with Open Office, Adobe Reader and Avast anti-virus software pre-installed.  Recently LFK began installing the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader applications.  LFK also includes a 2 or 4 gigabyte flash drive with each laptop to facilitate the transporting of files between home and school.

The schools often add specialized software selected to address one or more educational needs of the child with whom the computer will be placed.

When the Masons knew the Overlook/MHS machines were inbound, MAF President Robert Fellows reached out to several of their partner schools.  Since most schools maintain prioritized needs lists, placements were decided before the computers even arrived on the Cape.

As with all activities of the Masonic Angel Fund, 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. All requests 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.  The IFAW laptops were placed in Dennis, Yarmouth and Orleans through local Masonic Angel Fund chapters.

LFK accepts donations of functional notebook computers. "Functional" means that it will power up.  Donations to the 501(c)(3) Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. are tax deductible.

The Overlook VNA office at 38 Route 28 in West Yarmouth accepts drop offs of donated computers for Laptops for KidZ.  The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Computers donated from towns on Cape Cod will remain on Cape Cod.

For more information about the Laptops for KidZ program visit www.laptopsforkidZ.org.

For more information about Overlook VNA and the Masonic Health System visit www.masonichealthsystem.org.

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