The Detwiler Foundation Computers for Schools Program

Daily Point of Light # 1301 Jan 28, 1999

The Detwiler Foundation Computers for Schools Program is a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization founded in September 1991 by John, Diane and Carolyn Detwiler. The Computers for Schools Program was established to help prevent underprivileged children from being shut out of the world of technology. The mission of the program is to provide schools with high-quality computers and other technology to enhance instruction, reduce the ratio of students per instructional computer to 5 to 1 or less, meet the needs of employers by increasing the technology aptitude of the future work force and facilitate the donation of computer equipment that could be better utilized in schools and nonprofits.

The founders of the program recognized that the lack of computers and computer knowledge affects young peoples’ success in a global economy and that the majority of desirable jobs require some interface with computers. Because schools lack computers, many students who cannot afford home computers get little or no exposure to technology.

Thousands of individuals, corporations and government agencies have donated surplus equipment for refurbishing. A new law provides substantial federal tax credits for corporations that donate used computers that are no more than two years old. The Detwiler Foundation is often able to upgrade donated equipment. The refurbished computers available to schools are very high quality, enabling classrooms to take advantage of today's multi-media opportunities. The majority of Detwiler Foundation refurbished computers have 486 or 586/Pentium processors.

The Detwiler Foundation is becoming a national clearinghouse to facilitate technology donations to schools and nonprofits. With such a broad reach, corporations can donate used equipment nearly everywhere they have operations. The Department of Corrections assists in refurbishment and transportation. By learning computer repair, inmates also learn marketable skills for gainful employment. Since 1991, the Computers for Schools Program has placed more than 54,000 computers into schools and nonprofit organizations.