As proprietor of Clever Computers, Akiva Perl has found that sometimes the computers that he was working on are not really worth fixing in the eyes of the customer. As such, he had a pile up of computers and parts cluttering his business space. It wasn’t until Rabbi Menachem Mendel Shagalov called Clever Computers to ask if they had any available so that he could give them to people in need. This started a new partnership – ‘Computer 4 Kids.’
Since then Perl and Shagalov have donated over 3000 computers, and their goal is to continue doing so until there is no more need.
“Unlike the Government’s Cash for Clunkers program, this project’s only expiration date is when the need runs out,” they said.
They said the benefit is double: The donor helps to reduce their carbon footprint by repurposing the computer, printer or parts, saves landfill space, gets rid of junk in their home, and helps someone less fortunate.
And the child receiving the computer can learn skills necessary to look for work, improve their marketability in the work force by becoming more computer literate and even gaining some IT knowledge.
“Until now, we’ve been doing this with little outside help. But the time has come for us to enlist the help of others,” Perl, a Crown Heights resident said.
Shagalov, an activist in Brooklyn, called on companies such as Dell, IBM/Lenovo, HP/Compaq, Gateway, Toshiba, Apple and Microsoft to help.
‘These companies can help by asking customers that are purchasing new computers to donate a couple of extra dollars to us, or to donate their old computers,” he said.
The monetary donations will be used to the purchase a new mouse, keyboard and speakers for donated and recently refurbished computers (for hygiene purposes) and the customer in return could receive a $75 incentive towards their purchase of new computer and accessories.
Perl added: “We install age appropriate educational software and software for Toddlers, Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st thru 5th grade, Middle School through High School.”
They are also contacting software companies, such as Disney, Broderbund, Smart Kids, Learning Company and Scholastic.
“This is our Edu-Tainment Program to enhance the lives and learning of underprivileged children. We hope to help them with Science, Spelling, Math, and Reading skills,” Perl said.