LIGHTNING FOUNDATION TEAMS WITH COMPUTER MENTORS TO ONCE AGAIN PROVIDE FREE COMPUTERS TO NEEDY STUDENTS
Once again, the Lightning Foundation has partnered with Computer Mentors to host the 4th Annual "Christmas Computers for Kids" giveaway at 10 a.m. Saturday at the St. Pete Times Forum. The Lightning Foundation, participating in the program for the third consecutive year, joined Microsoft Corporation to provide funding toward the purchase and refurbishment of the computers.
"Bess the Book Bus" will join the Lightning Foundation on the Chrysler/Jeep Plaza from 10 a.m. to noon to provide free books for families selected to participate in the program.
Those selected will receive computers with the Microsoft Windows XP Professional operating system, Microsoft Office 2003 Professional with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and Microsoft Student which includes Encarta and Microsoft Money software. The computers will also be installed with spyware protection, Adobe Acrobat Reader and free Juno Internet access.
To be eligible, families verified that they have school-aged children, receive public assistance, and do not currently have a computer in the home. Ralph Smith, CMG's executive director, said the generosity of the public, volunteers and the business community is the reason his organization can help those who cannot afford to buy a computer.
"We are blessed to have the grassroots support as well as the corporate sponsorships that allow us to reach more and more families," said Smith, who estimates nearly 50 families will take home a free computer on Saturday.
For more information on the Christmas Computers for Kids program, please visit www.computermentors.org and read the Computers4Kids article.
Computer Mentors Group, Inc. is a "digital divide" organization providing free computer training and computers to inner-city youth who live within Hillsborough County, Florida. The group was organized in May of 1997 as a volunteer organization comprised of computer and business professionals providing and has been conducting weekly training sessions since June of 1997. It serves youths between the ages of 14 and 17. To learn more, please visit http://www.computermentors.org.