Thursday, November 24, 2005

A Little Christmas Donation Project

Last week a friend of mine asked how much she could get for an old computer she no longer needed. I looked at the specs, thought about the fact that another friend of mine had just bought a brand new one for $299, and told her: $50 - $100. Then I said to her, "Why don't you give it to me and I'll find a family who would really appreciate it." She agreed. I then e-mailed everyone I know in Vancouver, asking if they knew someone appropriate to give it to. I got back no immediate responses.

So being the persistent fellow I am (some have used the word "stubborn"), I posted this on Craigslist. As you'll read, I specified some simple criteria to try to sort out the truly needy from those who just wanted something for free. So far I've received 42 responses. Of those, I immediately discarded 31 for one reason or another. Some were simply overtly selfish, whereas others didn't even bother to explain how they met the criteria - ie. Did they even have any kids who would benefit from the computer?

But there were 11 others. Eleven that were extremely touching. Some of the stories just broke my heart. Though I'm not rich, reading these made me quickly realize how incredible fortunate I am. I'd like to share some of these with you here. After you read them, HERE is a way you can help put some smiles on the faces of some Vancouver children on Christmas Day.

I've necessarily removed all name references to protect their privacy:

My name is -------- and I'm an aunt who is living with a family with 4 kids all under the age of 13 and their parents who have a disability. I have been looking all over the internet to find them a good working computer for the kids to help them with their school work because the parents are not able to help them with their academics. Both parents work a minimum of 2 jobs doing janitorial duties. My family had let them live in our basement for a few months now and they still can't afford to buy beds for their kids. The kids are sharing a one bedroom with one twinbed between the 4 of them, so you can imagine how life is like for them. I myself wish I could afford to buy them a computer but I am also just a single person who is helping my mother out with our care home. I hope that you can find it in your heart to maybe donate or sell this computer to the family that lives downstairs from us. If not I thank you for the opportunity and heartfelt donation and hope you have a wonderful holiday season. God Bless

Hello,My name is ------. I moved to Vancouver from Romania with my family (my husband and two twin bebies) a month ago. Tomorow we are moving to Port Coquitlam in a social house. For now we can not buy furniture or a computer, but a computer is the way to find a job, to find everything we need now. Write now we are staying at our friend -------, so I am using her computer. Actually, you decide if I we can be calified to get your gift for Christmas. If you want to talk with us call 604 ###-####. Thank you, what ever your decision is.------p.s. sorry for my mistakes. i still have to work to empruve my english.

Hello Robert;
I would be EXTREMELY interested in your computer. I have read your agenda for the FREE pc. Here is my story sad but true! I am a 45 year old single parent with a 20 month old baby & a soon to be 11 year old. My pc was built in aprox 1942 lol! It is aprox a PC 1? if that is still possible? It is like the old tv's that were going on the fritz, when they were getting too hot they would automatically shut down! That is exactly what this one does. I am on assistance trying to get onto disability, as I have EXTREMELY bad EXZEMA on my hands & my daughter who has a birthday on Dec. 9th & Christmas coming soon too, I just can not afford anything other than the basics, if you know what I mean! Unfortunately I do not donate my time to any charity as I do not have much time, to do so with a 20month old & I would not be too much help to them anyways without too much use of my hands! If you find someone other than myself to give it to, that would be great! Although if nothing comes up, would you PLEASE consider me for this GREAT opportunity? Thanking you in Advance for your time that you have taken with this matter.

What a wonderful gift for a deserving person on Christmas.I am writing on behalf of my nephew ------ ---------- , who just emigrated from the Philippines. His wife, daughter- 9 and son- 8 months old will arrive on Dec 29.They have no money to buy a computer but they need one for ----- to find a job, and for ---- (A-student) to keep up to date academically. His wife, who just trained on computers, also need it to hone up her skills so she can start to earn money.----- works at a factory at night for a minimum wage, so at the daytime he goes to the Immigration Services Society in Richmond to access a computer to search and apply for jobs online. It is their full intention to be involved in the community as volunteers as soon as they are settled.(as we all do in the family - I help teach computers to Seniors and my daughter and son-in-law are constantly volunteering for various causes. We also have a daughter with cerebral palsyin a group home that we constantly assist).I hope you will consider him for your good intentions.Good luck to you.----- ------------
604 ### ####

I am replying to the posting for the computer you would like to offer to a needy young person. I know a boy, ------ a friend’s son he is 14 years old and loves to draw on the computer I have taught him to use some programs when they come over. He really is enthusiastic about art. His family cannot afford a computer his mother is raising 3 children and is a single parent. I thought he would be a good candidate for the computer because this would help ------ immensely and give him a tool to pursue his interests in art and computers.

Thank you

We landed Canada as independent immigrants in March 2004. My husband and I have skills, but we can’t express ourselves in English. We need time. My husband set up a computer with free and cheap computer parts. My husband wants to contribute his skills to community, so he has been a volunteer for ---------- Information and Community Services Society for about one year. He was a volunteer driver for their Seniors Transportation program. We just moved to BC affordable housing in ----------- in October this year, so my husband quitted the volunteer job. He is looking for another volunteer job in Richmond.

We have an over 8-year-old son. He is very clever. He is grade 3. He can use computer in school. He told Santa he would like a computer when he saw Santa parade in Vancouver yesterday.

I can fax a reference to you.

Any way, thanks for your kindness to donate an excellent computer to a needy family. That’s a great idea.

Merry Christmas!

hi to u we have just moved here from back east leaving and abusive home ... i have 2 kids, 8 and 5. My son who is mildly impaired cannot read yet but loves computers and would love to have one for Xmas but we barely have any furniture and can barely make ends meet i would greatly appreciate it if u could consider my son for u pc thank u

Me again. Please continue on to the next posting to see how you can help. If it's not immediately available then you can find it HERE.

1 comment:

Dusty said...

Hi. I am just so glad you are doing this. Sometimes when I try and do these little acts of charity back home, I do end up feeling frustrated, because there is just no dearth of poverty. Yet, I try consoling myself that they little acts do help. I hope all these families have their wishes come true. I was slogging away at work and was travelling - hence could not blog or read my fav blogs.