Computers for Kids in Boise Idaho has given or sold at low-cost more than 40,000 computers to kids in Idaho, Washington and Oregon. By giving the computers away or selling them at low-cost, kids can have an even playing field, and catch up to their classmates in STEM classes and more.
It started in 2001 when Molli Wingert wanted to give her son, Chris, something constructive to do. They decided to get some computers donated to kids who needed them. They started with 9 computers.
40,000 computers later, they are the largest Microsoft Microsoft Registered Refurbisher in the United States, moving approximately 3,500 computers per year.
The machines are given to kids who are on any of most forms of public assistance, such as school lunch programs or sold to other kids for $65 or $90 for desktop computers, and $150 for laptops.
The machines come with Windows 7 operating licenses and programs the kids will need for school.
They get the machines from companies like St. Luke's and Micron. Once machines are donated, they wipe the drives to a high standard so data is completely unrecoverable, and then the machines are refurbished and delivered to kids.
Molli Wingert, now CEO of the non-profit enterprise, says the greatest pleasure is watching kids upskill, and overcome the stigma of being in a make-up class for having been behind in a math class. There are math and educational games available, she says, so "the kids are playing, and their math skills are going up. So I get a lot of thanks from the parents about that. They're no longer in special needs," she says, proudly.