The Masonic Angel Foundation (MAF) delivered its 1,750th Laptops for KidZ computer this morning, part of a group of ten laptops delivered to Cape Cod Regional Technical High School. MAF volunteers have provided 86 refurbished laptop to students at Cape Tech since 2012.
The Laptops for KidZ project accepts donated Windows laptops, which are refurbished by the Masons' team of volunteers. Laptops are delivered to area schools to be sent home with children who do not have access to a computer outside school hours. Many recipient families are eligible for Comcast's $9.95/month Internet Essentials broadband access program.
When computers are donated the first thing LFK volunteers do is wipe and overwrite the hard drives. Then they make necessary repairs and reconfigure the machine with a fresh Windows 10 Pro license that MAF receives as a non-profit member of the Microsoft Registered Refurbisher Program. Laptops are configured with Open Office and Avast Antivirus.
"Cape Tech student tend to need fairly powerful computers because of the robust applications they run in many shops," reports LFK project director Mario Meré of Yarmouth. "Graphic arts, engineering and even cosmetology students run sophisticated imaging apps that need a strong computer to run well." Today's batch of laptops is a from a large block of of Lenovo ThinkPad's that were donated recently.
The fair market value of a refurbished laptop is somewhere around $250, according to MAF president Robert Fellows. 1,750 laptops at $250 totals $437,500 in value donated to local schools since 2010. "Many of the thank you letters we receive from the schools mention how the laptop donations allow them to free up resources for other instructional purposes. It's a win all around - donors get a charitable write-off for their surplus equipment (and don't have to pay to dispose of the machines), the schools don't have to allocate funds for this purpose and the student receives a machine that helps level the competitive playing field for him or her.
Laptops for KidZ always has a waiting list of children in need of a laptop. If you would like to donate a laptop, please email [email protected] or visit their web site. LFK has many drop-off locations around the Cape and volunteers who can pick up machines locally.
The Masons recently launched Laptops for Seniors, a spin-off of LFK to provide technology access to low-income senior citizens.