Komputers 4 R Kids: An Interview

DonateWebPicComputers, especially ones not in good working order, can be fairly difficult to get rid of. But don’t rush to assume your only option is to bring them in to your city’s local electronics recycling program — they may still have some useful life left. If you live in southern California, consider donating your used electronics to Komputers 4 R Kids in Cerritos. Since they do repair work on the premises, they’ll take computers in non-working condition. James Watson of Komputers 4 R Kids tells us all about it below.

1. Can you describe the basic mission of Komputers 4 R Kids?

Our mission is to help children acquire the technology and skills they need to succeed in the future by providing equitable access to resources.

The Komputers 4 R Kids program offers hands-on experience for information technology students and provides computers for kids who are underserved as a result of economic, language and cultural barriers. It also prevents E-waste in our local communities.

2. How do you find the kids who you teach computer repair to? Does everyone who volunteers for eighty hours get a computer in exchange for their labor?

We have established relationships with computer user groups, several unified school districts, regional occupational programs, adult schools, and several colleges and universities with electronics programs.  Some students come of their own accord, some receive credits, and some even get paid through different programs.  We have no shortage of interns and volunteers.

Everyone who puts in eighty hours of volunteer time will receive a PC.

3. How do you determine who receives the repaired computers (the ones that are not given to the kids volunteering)?

A recipient must either show that they are receiving government assistance (Cal Works, food stamps, welfare, children on the reduced lunch program etc.) or that they meet the federal poverty guidelines. Proof of income can be shown through W-2s or a paycheck stub. A photo ID is also required.

HomePageComputers are limited to one per household and cost $160.00. You will receive: a computer, keyboard, mouse, and flat screen LCD Monitor. (Sorry, no laptops.)

All computers are internet-ready and come preloaded with Windows 7, Office 2007, and an anti-virus suite.  It’s an awesome machine for surfing the ‘net and doing homework.

4. What types of electronics do you always have a need for? What do people typically offer you that you can’t use?

We accept all (working or not) TVs, circuit cards, cabling, computer monitors, computers, printers, computer peripherals, copiers, fax machines, DVD players, radios, and stereos.

5. Do you know of other organizations like yours located elsewhere in the country?

Free Geek in Portland, Oregon and Computers for Classrooms in Chico, California.

6. Anything you’d like to add?

Several two or three minute long videos are available on the Komputers 4 R Kids web site which give a more detailed description of the program.

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