Veritas first approached the Masonic Angels last month when they received a donation of 25 government surplus laptops. The computers arrived in an un-refurbished state, with wiped hard drives, no operating systems, mismatched chargers…etc.
With the help of the Masons’ team of volunteer technicians and the generosity of both MAF’s and Veritas’ donors, necessary repairs were made, appropriate chargers were purchased and each laptop was configured with a fresh Windows 7 license which Laptops for KidZ receives as a non-profit member of the Microsoft Registered Refurbisher Program. OpenOffice and Avast! anti-virus are installed on all Laptops for KidZ computers.
Eight of the laptops were not viable to refurbish so parts from those machines were used to make the others ready to place with students.
One of the hallmarks of the Laptops for KidZ project is the speed with which the Masons process donated laptops.
The Veritas laptops were picked up on Friday, April 27th by Laptops for KidZ volunteer Brendon Eldridge of Eastham, a student at Cape Cod Community College. Mr. Eldridge retrieved the computers from Veritas Academy volunteer and parent Julie Rose in Barnstable and delivered them to the MAF office in Orleans as part of his frequent commute to 4C’s.
The next morning Laptops for KidZ volunteer Ben Richardson picked up the laptops and began the refurbishing process. Working on his own, he completed all of the computers in about a week.
Ms. Rose then picked up the laptops from Mr. Richardson on Monday, May 5th and distributed them to Veritas’ students two days later.
Helps Children be Competitive
Providing every student with a laptop helps level the playing field in any school. Even in a private school such as Veritas Academy there are children who don’t have a home computer.
In the words of Veritas’ Julie Rose:
The students of Veritas Academy finally have access to laptops both in school and out… Students who previously didn't have regular computer access will now able to take a laptop home to complete assignments, practice and improve computer skills and do homework research. As a small school with limited funds we are very excited to finally be able to offer this opportunity to our students. It has opened up a whole new world of academic possibilities and is really necessary to help our children be competitive in our technology oriented society. We could not have done it without the help of the Masonic Angel Foundation and Laptops for KidZ.
878 Computers in 4 Years
This spring marks the fourth anniversary of Laptops for KidZ. During this time the Masonic Angels have placed 878 refurbished computers with schools across Cape Cod and eastern Massachusetts. All computers are provided free of charge, with local Masonic Angel Fund chapters underwriting the cost of necessary computer parts.
“A lot has changed in four years,” says MAF co-founder Robert Fellows. “When we first started Laptops for KidZ most computers were being placed for highly specific educational needs. As time marched on the need evolved to a point where just about every student is required to complete online assignments, journals and other activities that must be done with a computer.”
Sturgis Charter School executive director Eric Hieser has often told Cape Cod Today that LFK’s computers “level the playing field” for economically disadvantaged students, who are often forced to stay at school for hours to complete necessary assignments online.
The Masonic Angel Foundation partners with Comcast’s Internet Essentials broadband access program for low income families. Many Laptops for KidZ recipients qualify for the $9.95/month broadband offering.
Donate Your Laptop
The Masonic Angels always accept donations of PC laptops and Google ChromeBooks. Hard drives are wiped and overwritten, then necessary repairs are made by LFK’s volunteers.
In the mid-Cape area, laptop donations may be brought to the Hyannis Public Library, Sturgis Public Library, Cotuit Public Library or Sturgis Charter Public School. The Masons can arrange pick-up of donated laptops in other areas of the Cape. Contact [email protected] to donate your laptop.