News Column

Nonprofit Group Donates Computers to Students

May 19, 2014

By Julie Wootton, The Times-News, Twin Falls, Idaho

May 19--TWIN FALLS -- Dawnette Crofts has a large family and with six of her children in school. There just aren't enough computers to go around at home.

The Twin Falls resident has nine children total.

"Several of the kids need a computer to be doing homework," Crofts said.

Currently, her children share one laptop and sometimes use their father's laptop, too.

Crofts said her 9-year-old daughter came home from school with a flyer about a nonprofit organization, Computers for Kids, and she was "really excited about it."

The family decided it sounded like a good opportunity to get a good quality refurbished computer with up-to-date software, she said.

On Friday, the Crofts -- along with dozens of other families -- picked up computers during a Computers for Kids event at the Jerome County Fairgrounds.

Computers for Kids -- a Boise-based nonprofit organization -- provides computers to students in kindergarten through the first two years of college. There aren't any income requirements.

"A lot of people feel that it sounds too good to be true," said Tammy Gardner, the organization's director.

The group was looking for donations of desktop computers prior to the event.

"We'll take anything except TVs," Gardner said. "If it has a board or cord, we'd love it."

Once computers arrive at the organization's facility, hard drives are wiped clean. Then, computers are donated to students around the state.

To receive a computer, students must fill out an application, write an essay and pay a $35 processing fee.

Computers for Kids launched in 2002 when Chief Executive Officer Molli Wingert started the organization out of her garage with her son. The Boise School District was getting rid of old computers, so Wingart took them, Gardner said. After refurbishing the computers, she donated them to students.

"CFK offers children an exciting opportunity to gain the necessary high tech skills needed to join the workforce as computer literate adults and navigate in our complex electronic world," the organization's website states.

Students receive desktop computers, which include software, such as Windows 7. Students also have access to technical support for one year.

The Crofts family has children ranging in age from two weeks to 12 years old. Children attend I.B. Perrine Elementary School and Robert Stuart Middle School.

The older children need to be able to type up reports and do research online, Crofts said.

Now, they're staying up too late waiting for their turn on the computer to finish assignments.

"It always seems to be past bedtime. The one (computer) was not doing it," Crofts said. "The two, I think, will make it a lot nicer."

Over the last 12 years, Computers for Kids has handed out more than 33,000 computers.

Officials have been coming to the Magic Valley for 11 years. During that time, they've brought more than 2,000 computers to give to local students.

The organization continues to increase the number of donations, Gardner said.

For more information, call 208-345-0346 or visit


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Source: Times-News (Twin Falls, ID)

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