Masonic Angels place 1,600th Laptops for KidZ computer

Over $400,000 worth of refurbished laptops placed with our schools
1600th Laptop: Orleans Elementary school psychologist Bethany Valine, school nurse Mary Ellen Reed and principal Elaine Pender receive the 1600th Laptops for KidZ computer from Masonic Angel Foundation volunteer Bill Stoeckert.

The Masonic Angel Foundation (MAF) today placed its 1,600th Laptops for KidZ computer at Orleans Elementary School.  Orleans Elementary School received the very first Laptops for KidZ (LFK) computer back in May 2010.

School Nurse Mary Ellen Reed requested the first LFK machine for a child who needed to do supplemental Reading exercises at home.  Today's laptop was requested by School Psychologist Bethany Valine, who has a fifth grader in need of a machine to complete online assignments outside school hours and to complete written assignments.

The Laptops for KidZ project accepts donated Windows laptops, which are refurbished by the Masons' team of volunteers.  The laptops are then placed with schools across Cape Cod and eastern Massachusetts 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.

"Children without a home computer suffer a tremendous educational disadvantage today," says Mario Mere - project director of Laptops for KidZ and Board Secretary of the Masonic Angel Foundation.  "A home computer helps level the playing field for motivated kids from low income homes."  

Laptops worth $400,000 

A refurbished computer sells at retail for about $250 to $300, according to MAF co-founder and president Robert Fellows.  At $250 each, the fair market value of 1,600 laptops is about $400,000.  All Laptops for KidZ are delivered free of charge to the school.  The school's local Masonic Angel Fund chapter covers the cost, which averages between $12 and $25 depending on what replacement parts the laptop requires.  

Some laptops are donated by individuals who may have upgraded to a newer machine.  Others are donated by businesses wishing to dispose of technology and receive a tax deduction.  All laptops have their hard drives wiped and overwritten.  Then LFK's volunteers make necessary repairs and reconfigure the machine with a fresh Windows 10 Professional license that the MAF receives as a non-profit member of the Microsoft Registered Refurbisher Program.  "Microsoft is incredibly generous with our program," reports Mr. Mere.  "They provide use with the latest versions of Windows at minimal cost, provide support and training materials for our volunteers and donate office software in furtherance of our charitable mission."

To deliver 1,600 laptops the Masons have processed over 2,000 donated laptops.  "If a machine isn't viable to refurbish it becomes an 'organ donor' - we extract whatever spare parts we can salvage to use on other machines that need repairs," says Mr. Mere.  

The Masons are very proud of the "green" implications of Laptops for KidZ, since the program helps keep laptops out of landfills and other cyber waste streams.

Used for a variety of learning purposes

School Nurse Mary Ellen Reed requested the first LFK machine for a child who needed to do supplemental Reading exercises at home.  Today's laptop was requested by School Psychologist Bethany Valine, who has a fifth grader in need of a machine to complete online assignments outside school hours and to complete written assignments.

Students use the laptops for anything from completing homework assignments to the use of sophisticated software for engineering and graphics.  Some special needs students use LFK laptops to power assistive technology software and devices.

Laptop Donations Always Needed

Laptops for KidZ always has a waiting list of children in need of a laptop.  If you would like to donate a laptop to LFK, please email [email protected] or visit their web site. LFK has many drop-off locations on the mid and lower Cape, as well as volunteers who can arrange to pick up machines in other Cape locations.

 

 


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