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A laptop in every child's hands

Tech for the Kids aims to put a laptop in every kid's hands by taking people's old, unwanted tech, wiping it clean, and handing it out to those who need it.

If you have an old laptop that you’re considering recycling, a new charity drive is asking you to consider donating it to be reused instead by schoolchildren whose families can’t afford their own.

Tech for the Future was born out of the need, nay the demand for affordable portable computers. Mac Sokulski of small business IT provider MiKS Media said his customers started asking him where they could find such devices for their children back in the spring.

“People started asking me if I had a laptop handy. Because I've been in IT for over 30 years, I have a huge passion for it. I hate technology going to waste,” he began.

He had a couple of old laptops on hand that he was able to revive on different operating systems. He wiped them clean of all data and personal information, totally disinfected them from all bugs, and even opened them up to blow out the “dust bunnies.” That, plus upgrade the hard drive or memory if possible.

And then he handed them out at no charge. Every little bit helps for families to help get their children through their educations with everything else that’s going on.

“It allows the kids to still access school programs, and they're free. I just decided to give them away for free. Even Chromebooks are not expensive, but they're still $150, $200 that you have to shell out. A family on social assistance, three kids going to high school: that's $600. Where's that money coming from? At least this gives them the ability to actually do their homework.”

Helping Mac out is Michelle Gunderson, a St. Albert mother of two school-aged children whose own family has struggled to stay afloat for several years after she was seriously injured in a car accident.

“For us being under a financial strain, I looked at it and went, 'I know so many other people who are under this kind of strain.' It just made me think there's got to be something we can do that can help out families and kids and youth that are in this in a similar or even worse situation where the parents just can't afford it. The schools don't have it. For me, that's why we decided to do it,” she said, adding the drive’s tagline: “because children are the future.”

People can donate their old and unwanted laptops to the cause while those who would like to be on the receiving end can sign up by contacting Gunderson at 780-243-2595 or via email at techforthefuture@gunderson.me.

According to the organizers, there has already been a strong response on both ends with a growing lineup for the snazzy secondhand computers for kids in need.

“We've got a waiting list of families where some families have four kids. A lot of them are single moms or people that really can't afford it. What we're trying to do is to really get those laptops given directly to the families, the youths more so that need them.”

More information can be found at facebook.com/TechfortheFuture2020.




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