Submitted by countylibrary on

Did Santa bring you a new computer this year? Is tidying up your home office and getting rid of unused tech equipment your New Year's resolution?  If so, the Burlington County Library System Foundation hopes you'll consider making a donation to benefit some families in need.

A registered 501(c)3 non-profit that supports the library system, the foundation is launching a pilot program that would provide used computer equipment to families from our area who are struggling financially to tap into the internet for online classes and meetings. Please consider donating old, working laptops and other computer devices that can be wiped clean of data, outfitted with new software and refurbished to benefit struggling families. The Foundation is also seeking tax-deductable donations of cash and other assets to offset the cost of new hardware and software.

Foundation President Pat Lindsay-Harvey noted, “the covid-19 pandemic has had a horrible impact on everyone’s quality of life. But this is particularly true of those who can’t afford computers, since so much of our everyday activities have gone ‘virtual.’”

The foundation has set aside a one-day, "Technology for All" collection drive:
When: Saturday, Jan. 9 from 10 am to 2 pm
Where: the Burlington County Library off Woodlane Road on Pioneer Boulevard.

Specifically, the foundation is seeking donations of working:

  • PCs – Laptops installed with Windows 7 or newer (no Vista or XP)
  • Chromebooks
  • Apple products, including iPads or printers

To launch the pilot program, the foundation is teaming up with two other volunteer organizations ready to refurbish the donated equipment: Computer Smiles, based in Cherry Hill and Willingboro, and the South Jersey Apple Users Group, based in Medford and Mount Laurel. Lindsay-Harvey noted that even though all equipment will be purged of existing data, residents are being encouraged to remove the data before dropping off their donations.

After the devices are refurbished, the foundation will work with county partners to identify families in need. Those interested in making financial contributions to offset hardware and software costs are encouraged to visit the foundation’s website at www.bclsf.org.

The laptop refurbishing program dovetails with other ongoing "Technology for All" initiatives.  The foundation has raised or donated funds totaling $6,000 which, coupled with a $45,000 grant, will enable the library system to buy Chromebooks and mobile hotspots for loan to library customers.

For more information, visit Computer Smiles at www.computersmiles.org and South Jersey Apple Users group at www.sjaug.org

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