When Brandon started going to day program, I mentioned that my husband, Steve, is really really good at computer stuff. That is Steve’s job as well as his passion. He loves computers.
The other day, Kristi, the director, called me and asked if Steve would be willing to help get rid of viruses on their computers the clients use. Of course I said he would be willing!!
We also had a couple of gently used PCs sitting in our basement that we agreed to donate to the program. Steve went yesterday to drop off our donation and to take a look at what they already have. Brandon was a bit surprised to see Dad, but did introduce him to a couple of his favorite employees.
Brandon and Kristi
Steve was, in a word, shocked. They PCs day program has are at least 8 years old. The antivirus software Steve took with him are too new. It will not help with their computers. Steve came home and was wondering why they don’t have more current PCs. Remember, Steve works in the corporate world and always has up to date equipment.
Day programs and other programs like it are funded by the government. They receive funds from the government based on how many clients they have. And that money has to pay for staff salaries, educational materials, food for lunches, and overhead costs. There is very little left over for extraneous expenses.
I worked in that arena for 23 years before staying at home with Brandon. I know the headache of trying to make the money stretch to allow for some extras. It is hard and difficult choices have to be made. Unfortunately, up to date computers (for client usage) are usually expensive and fall to the bottom of the list.
And yet, many of the clients served love being able to access the internet. We know Brandon loves looking at videos of movies. And videos of animals. Steve met a client yesterday at day program who loves art and loves looking at art via the internet.
Brandon and Stephanie. He talks about her a lot!
Steve and I talked about this for a long time last night. What can we do? How can we help? Steve found three more PCs/laptops he is going to work his magic on. We are reaching out to friends we know are in the IT world to ask they consider donating items not being used.
I would also ask all of you. If you have gently used computers that are no longer being used, please think about donating those items to a local agency that supports folks with disabilities. I guarantee they will be thrilled to get them.
And since I know next to nothing about computers, I will be organizing my craft area next week and donating items I am no longer using. Most programs have arts and crafts rooms/areas also.
Stay well everyone!