Computer donation drive was a success |

Computer donation drive was a success

Paul Andrew
Boy Scouts Miles Swoger and Sean Sullivan help move a few of the more than 150 computers donated by the community for a giveaway program.

Lake Tahoe locals donated three large truckloads of more than 150 computers and related equipment on Dec. 11 during the first program of its kind in the Tahoe Basin. This community service opportunity, organized by ComputerCorps, a nonprofit organization in Carson City, was a positive start to what will be a regular occurrence in our area.

“Today was extremely successful,” said co-founder of ComputerCorps, Ron Norton. “We weren’t sure what to expect, but found the support of the community to be very positive.”

“It was a great day,” said Sassa Oznowicz, president of the KMS Parent’s Club, who spearheaded the campaign locally. “The whole program was well received. People were happy to drop off their old equipment for such a good cause.”

A large group of volunteers, including Boy Scouts from Troop 468, KMS Honor Society students and local parents, insured that the drop-off was well organized and ran smoothly. “This was a great community event, with many locals chipping in,” Oznowicz said.

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ComputerCorps, founded in 1998, is the only organization of its kind in the country. It not only recycles computers, but trains young people on computer technology, and donates the systems to needy families in the community. “Nothing, not even a few screws, ends up in landfill,” said Norton. “Even the very old systems are kept and put in our computer museum.”

Ten Tahoe families received completely refurbished computer systems this past Saturday. “We’re very excited,” said recipient Wendy Sandoval. “We’ve never had our own computer before.” Her daughter, kindergartner Isabella, had received information on the program through Zephyr Cove Elementary School.

E-Tahoe, a local Internet provider, generously donated six months of Internet service for each of this weekend’s recipients.

ComputerCorps has also instituted a program called SKATES; (Skills and Knowledge Applied Towards Enhancing Success), which provides technical skill for kids who have dropped out, been kicked out or suspended from school. For their 180 hours of service, the students earn a computer for themselves, plus get school credit.

Recently, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., heard about the program, and stopped in to see the 400,000-square-foot facility in Carson City. He was so impressed that he had a bill passed to provide $200,000 for the organization. ComputerCorps plans on expanding to Las Vegas in the near future. For more information on ComputerCorps, and its services and programs, visit its Web site at

Special thanks go to several local businesses who helped the cause with various donations. Kevin Snight, owner of Call and Haul, a local company, donated a truck and his time to deliver all the computer equipment down to the Carson City warehouse. The parking lot was donated by Windermere Distinctive Homes International, while McCall Realty loaned signs to advertise the event. Balloons were donated by Safeway, Harley Davidson donated a truck, and TRPA was also involved as a sponsor.

For those who missed the event, the organization plans to provide the service again from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 8 at the Burger King parking lot, across from Lakeside Inn & Casino. Donating your old computer equipment to this worthy cause not only keeps plastic and metal out of our landfill, but helps local students and families as well. It’s a win-win for all of us, and our planet.

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