Children across the Cape and beyond will receive a free laptop from their school

Overlook Visiting Nurse Association donates 75 Laptops for KidZ
Albert T. Ames, Vice President of the Masonic Health System, shows off some of the 75 laptops donated to the Masonic Angel Foundation’s Laptops for KidZ program. The laptops were recently retired from service by MHS’ Overlook Visiting Nurse Association.

Masonic Health System donates 75 notebook computers to the Laptops for KidZ project

The Overlook Visiting Nurse Association, part of the Masonic Health System, this week donated 75 notebook computers to the Masonic Angel Foundation’s Laptops for KidZ project. The health care group is upgrading to newer systems and is donating its surplus laptops to Laptops for KidZ (LFK).

Overlook has donated 94 machines LFK since last summer.

Laptops for KidZ (LFK) places laptop computers with local schools to be sent home with children who would not otherwise have computer access outside school hours. LFK has placed 465 computers since April 2010.

Overlook Visiting Nurse Association, Inc. (OVNA) is a not-for-profit home health care agency and one component of the Masonic Health System, offering home health services that allow patients to maintain independence in the home. Since its inception in 2000, OVNA has grown to offer services such as: Lifeline (Personal Emergency Response Service), maternal/child health care, certified home health aides, companion, hospice, physical/occupational/speech therapy, rehabilitation therapy services, psychiatric nursing care, enhanced home care and social services.

The Overlook laptops will be placed throughout the Cape Cod area and beyond. LFK project director Mario Meré said that some of the laptops have already been committed to Masonic Angel Fund chapters in Orleans, Wellfleet, Falmouth, Chatham, Barnstable, Dennis and Yarmouth here on the Cape as well as to Foxboro, Charlton, Amherst and Dedham. He expects all 75 computers to be placed by the end of the week.

The Masonic Angel Foundation’s Laptops for KidZ project is a non-profit member of the Microsoft Registered Refurbisher program which provides generous pricing on “citizenship licenses” for Microsoft Windows 7 Professional.

All Laptops for KidZ computers are provided to the schools absolutely free of charge. The Masonic Angel Foundation estimates the fair market value of the 465 refurbished computers they’ve distributed at approximately $116,000. Refurbishing is done by a team of Masons who volunteer their time and technical skills for this project. Local Masonic Angel Fund chapters underwrite the cost of parts, software licenses and supplies. On average, it costs the Masonic Angel Foundation between $12 and $20 to refurbish a laptop to send home with a child.

Most laptops are delivered to the schools configured with Libre Office, Adobe Reader and Avast anti-virus software pre-installed. LFK also includes a 4 or 8 gigabyte flash drive with each laptop to facilitate the transporting of files between home and school.

As with all activities of the Masonic Angel Fund, the laptop program's volunteers never know the identity of a recipient child. All transactions are conducted at arm's length with the school professionals working as a go-between to preserve privacy. LFK does not accept direct requests from potential recipients. All requests must come through a school or other partner agency. LFK computers are configured in English and are only available to legal residents of the United States.

Laptops for KidZ accepts donations of Windows laptop computers with a Pentium 4 processor or better. Desktops are accepted on a “call first” basis. LFK does not accept CRT monitors, printers or any Apple product. Donations to the 501(c)(3) Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. are tax deductible.

The Overlook VNA office at 38 Route 28 in West Yarmouth accepts drop offs of donated computers for Laptops for KidZ. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Computers donated from towns on Cape Cod will remain on Cape Cod.

For more information about the Laptops for KidZ program visit www.laptopsforkidZ.org or email [email protected]

For more information about Overlook VNA and the Masonic Health System visit www.masonichealthsystem.org.


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