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Nonprofit helps students get free computers

The Kramden Institute fixes up donated computers and gets them ready for children to take home.

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APEX, N.C. — The deteriorating economy and mass layoffs have had a positive side effect: free computers. A lot of defunct companies are donating computers to charity, which is helping children across the Triangle.
At Lufkin Road Middle School, 1002 Lufkin Road in Apex, 34 students and their parents recently received free computers, from the Kramden Institute. The Durham-based nonprofit was started by a Durham father and son. Companies donate computers, Lenovo Computer donated most of Lufkin Road's, and volunteers at Kramden fix them up and get them ready for children to take home.

Wes Treece's son got one of the free computers. At first, he thought the program was too good to be true.

"It's a matter of time and money, everything is (tight) right now. And so, you wait until you have the money to get something like this and not everybody has that right now. Certainly not me,” Wes Treece said.

The program also seemed unreal to assistant principal Camille Hedrick.

"Actually, I went over and volunteered (there) not long ago, to check it out. I'm a very skeptical person, and I watched them steadily give computers away," Hedrick said.

With Kramden's gifts, all of Lufkin Road students have working computers.

"I love it. It's awesome," a student said.

Since 2003, Kramden has placed about 3,000 computers in the homes of students who work hard in school, yet do not have the financial means to afford a computer. The families also have a promise that they can call Kramden's computer helpline anytime.

Kramden is always looking for volunteers and donations. It cost Kramden $65 to refurbish a computer, $10 to recycle an unusable monitor and $140 to provide a computer give-away day for a school.

If you would like more information on the Kramden Institute or how to get a free computer for your child, call your child's school and request they they nominate your child.


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