By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
One of the earliest relationships Willis Johnson built for the Carter County Kiwanis club was with a group of retired tech industry professionals who collect and refurbish laptops, desktop computers, printers, and other computer hardware for children who don’t have computers in their home.
That group from Tennessee, who call themselves the Geeks, have helped with computer donations for Carter County multiple times since Johnson established the relationship three years ago. Now, he’s getting ready for another trip to Tennessee – to take more computers down for the Geeks to work on – and he’s taking donations for the trip.
“We have about 14 we are taking to Tennessee the middle of July,” Johnson said. “If anyone wants to drop off any, we will take them down too.”
If you’ve upgraded your computer recently, and have an old one that doesn’t work anymore – or that you just don’t need anymore – you can contact Johnson at the city building and arrange to drop your computer off for the program.
“Bring computers, monitors, and printers to my office at the (Grayson) city building and we will get them to Tennessee.”
Once Johnson gets the computers down to them, the Geeks will wipe the hard drives, repair them, or strip them down for parts, then return them to life with a fresh new operating system and suite of software. Once the computers are ready, they’ll be delivered to needy students across Kentucky and Tennessee – including back home here in Carter County.
“They will take these and make them like new,” Johnson said.
The Kiwanis Club will be collecting the computers through the end of the month before taking the next load down, Johnson said. After that they will work with the school district to distribute computers to children in need, though he isn’t sure when that will be.
“They do this for all Tennessee and Kentucky Kiwanis Clubs,” Johnson explained. “When they started we were one of the first to get computers.”
But with the program growing, so has the waiting list, though Johnson is confident it will continue to pay dividends.
“It’s been a successful program for us and the school district in the past,” Johnson said. “We’ve distributed about 65 computers to Carter County students so far, and we hope to continue making computers available through the program, as needed.”
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