PCs for Kids project to help Brainerd area kids
St. Paul nonprofit, PCs for People, in partner with the Otto Bremer Foundation has selected 22 cities to host their ‘PCs for Kids’ events. The mobile refurbishing project will travel to Minnesota cities including Brainerd/Baxter in late May where 150 computers will be given to children and low-income families in need.
The project seeks to increase broadband adoption, reduce electronic waste and help bridge the digital divide in Bremer communities. Since launching PCs for Kids in 2010, PCs for People has successfully completed 42 events across the state of Minnesota.
The goal of PCs for Kids is to provide an opportunity for every child in a school to have a home computer. Prior to arrival in a city, PCs for People will partner with the city’s school district, local businesses and internet service providers (ISPs). The local school district will help identify families in need who currently do not own a computer. Businesses are given an opportunity to recycle their retired computer systems and accessories for free while giving back to the community. Finally, because an affordable internet connection is critical to getting the most out of a computer, we invite local internet providers to attend events and encourage them to provide discounted rates to computer recipients.
“This is a win-win for businesses needing to manage their end-of-lifecycle digital assets in a cost-effective way, and for the community,” said Casey Sorensen, executive director of PCs for People. “Not only are businesses receiving valuable data wiping and hardware recycling services for free but it’s in a way that benefits their local community. The goal of this project is to help empower people by providing them with access to technology so they may enjoy the personal, economic and educational benefits of owning a personal computer that many of us take for granted. What we need now to make this event successful is to find local businesses willing to donate their old computers.”
Once equipment and recipients are found, PCs for People schedules a three-day event in each community. A mobile refurbishing team will travel to the community, collect equipment, refurbish the computers including wiping all data, make any necessary repairs and upgrades, and install a new copy of Microsoft Windows 7. Each computer will be loaded with free software including educational games, OpenOffice, security and antivirus programs, and includes a 90-day warranty. The mobile refurbishing team can refurbish up to 100 computers per day.
On the final day of an event the computers are distributed to families in the local school district.
Each recipient will receive basic computer skills training on the day they get a computer. It is expected that computer skills training will be provided to over 4,800 people as part of this project.
Any businesses or individuals looking to contribute to the project, contact Casey Sorensen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the St. Paul office at 651-354-2552. For more information visit www.pcsforpeople.org.