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"Angel Mail" Update - March 5th, 2010

"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us;  what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." - Albert Pike

Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc.

“Laptops for Kids Project” Pilot Test

Dear friend of the Masonic Angel Foundation:

In recent months, we have explored a project that would have Masonic Angel Foundation volunteers refurbishing donated laptop computers for free distribution (through our usual school partner contacts) to families that cannot afford a home computer. 

With both planned replacement of older laptops by successful businesses and thousands of laptops “warehoused” by businesses that laid off large numbers of employees, there are many excellent sources of donated computers.  Indeed, most of we MAF volunteers probably have an old laptop or two sitting in the back of a closet at home.

A laptop “refurbished” for distribution to a family would be a newly-configured machine with donated Microsoft or Open Source software pre-loaded.  Each machine would be configured and tested by one of our volunteers.

Senior volunteers here at the Foundation have recently undergone training in how to administer a charitable laptop refurbishing program.  The next step is for us to begin to train volunteers in the process and protocols of the hands-on work involved with refurbishing donated computers.

Do You Have An Old Laptop Computer?

In order to train volunteers, we need to gather up between thirty and fifty donated laptops to use for process development and volunteer training.  Do you have an old laptop that you would be willing to donate to the Masonic Angel Foundation?

While we encourage donors to wipe the hard drives on computers they will contribute, the very first part of our refurbishment protocol is to “zap” the hard drive, permanently removing all data on the drive.  This protects everyone’s security and ensures that no virus or malware could survive on the computer.  If a hard drive is not usable or cannot be cleared, it will be physically destroyed.

Since these machines will be used for training purposes, we ask that the laptop be known to be functional.  “Functional” means that it will boot.  Battery life is not an issue nor is the level of the operating system.  Any functional laptop from a Pentium I on up would be fine.  If you happen to have the original operating system and drive CD’s that would be ideal but is not absolutely necessary.

If you have a laptop you would like to donate to the MAF “Laptops for Kids Project” pilot test, please contact us via laptops@masonicangelfund.org or by calling 508-255-8812.

We will issue a 501(c)(3) substantiation letter for all donated laptops.

Once the pilot test machines are refurbished, they will be distributed through school contacts of Masonic Angel Funds in the Cape Cod area.

If the pilot test is successful, we will seek donations of large lots of laptops through corporate and financial market sources.

Do You Want To Be A Volunteer Refurbisher?

If you would be interested in learning the laptop refurbishment process and you live within an easy drive of Orleans, MA, please contact laptops@masonicangelfund.org to volunteer.  Basic computer knowledge is required.  That means if you can use a Windows PC without injuring yourself or infecting the world with malware, you are qualified to give this a try.

One of the great assets of Freemasonry is our cadre of retired gentlemen who have the time and expertise to be of service to children in need.  With new membership trends, we are also developing a good group of young computer professionals who belong to the Fraternity.  The availability of such volunteers is what will make this program succeed.

We Will Keep Everyone Updated

Thank you for your time in reading this bulletin. We will keep the MAF community informed as the pilot test moves ahead.

Please call 508-255-8812 or email laptops@masonicangelfund.org with questions.

Regards to all,

Robert W. Fellows, Co-Founder/Board President

Mario B. Mere, Board Secretary/Compliance Officer

 

Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc.

info@masonicangelfund.org