Tuesday the Laptops for KidZ Project placed its 600th computer at Sturgis Charter Public School in Hyannis. Laptops for KidZ (LFK) was established by the Masonic Angel Foundation in May 2010. The program placed 600 computers since its founding and 300 in just the past year.
Laptop #600 is a Toshiba Tecra configured with Windows 7 Professional, OpenOffice, and Avast AntiVirus. The laptop is one of a group donated last week by MANDIANT, a national cyber-security firm headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. Four of MANDIANT’s laptops were placed at Sturgis on Tuesday.
Sturgis’ community outreach coordinator, Marion Weeks, is pleased to work with the Masonic Angels. “Thank you for donating laptops to so many “kidz” - including seven Sturgis students who I know will be thrilled to receive them. We greatly appreciate your generous support,” Ms. Weeks wrote in a Tuesday afternoon email. “It was an honor to capture the milestone of the 600th laptop being delivered!”
Three Years, 600 Computers
LFK placed its first machine at Orleans Elementary School back in May 2010. Since then a total of 600 computers have been refurbished by the Masonic Angel Foundation’s volunteers and placed throughout Cape Cod and Southeastern Massachusetts.
Laptops for KidZ’ primary mission is to place computers with local schools to be sent home with children who would not otherwise have computer access outside school hours. Computers are provided to schools absolutely free of charge.
Local Masonic Angel Fund chapters underwrite the very low cost to refurbish and license the machines. The costs for the four laptops placed at Sturgis were covered by the Masonic Angel Fund chapter sponsored by Mariners Masonic Lodge in Cotuit.
As with all programs of the Masonic Angel Foundation, the Masons never learn the identity of the children and families they help. All requests are made by the school professionals that work with the Masonic Angel Fund volunteers.
Levels the Playing Field
Sturgis’ executive director Eric Hieser marked Tuesday’s milestone in an email,
“Sturgis Charter Public School greatly appreciates the generous support of the Masonic Angel Foundation in providing laptops for seven of our students who do not have access to a computer outside of school hours. By refurbishing computers donated by local businesses and distributing them to local schools, Laptop for KidZ helps to level the playing field for students who do not have computers at home. We were honored to be part of the milestone when the 600th laptop was delivered!”.
Sturgis Needs 5 More Laptops
As summer began, Sturgis’ Executive Director, Eric Hieser, reached out to the Masons as he sought computers for twelve students. Three Panasonic ToughBook laptops were delivered in June.
On Tuesday, LFK volunteer Adam Menges delivered the four Toshiba Tecra’s on Tuesday. Adam, who lives in North Eastham and belongs to Universal Lodge in Orleans, is no stranger to schools in Hyannis. “Adam travels to Hyannis frequently, so he delivers laptops to schools in Hyannis and also Beehive Food Packages to Hyannis West Elementary School,” reports Masonic Angel Foundation President Robert Fellows.
Sturgis has received nine computers from the Masonic Angels since December 2011
“We still need to find five more machines for Sturgis,” said Laptops for KidZ project director Mario Meré. “Because so much school work today is computer-based, it is vital that a student have home computer access - especially in a competitive program like Sturgis.”
If you have a laptop you would like to donate, you may leave it at Sturgis’ main office (425 Main Street, Hyannis) or contact [email protected] to arrange for a volunteer to pick up the machine. Any laptop donated through Sturgis will go to a Sturgis student.
Laptops for KidZ accepts donations of functional laptops with at least a Pentium 4 processor. LFK also accepts select Windows desktops but does not accept Apple products. 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.
Read all the stories about the Masonic Angel Fund here.