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"Airport's computers to help gulf residents ravaged by hurricane"
Friday, May 5, 2006
Airport's computers to help gulf residents ravaged by hurricane
By Robyn Russo
The Beaver County (PA) Times
FINDLAY TWP. - A part of the Pittsburgh International Airport will soon be
flying off to needy families. With the help of two area charities, used
airport computers will be sent to people across the region and to the Gulf
Coast area ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Dave Sevick, a Cranberry Township resident who has been refurbishing aged
computers with the Center for Hope, an Ambridge nonprofit, since 2004, said
that Rick Gregory, one of the airport's technology managers, called the
center in March after hearing about its computer outreach. Gregory said the
airport had plenty of old computers which, while too old for airport use,
were still in excellent condition for the average user, Sevick said.
"The airport can't wait for their computers to break, so they rotate them
out," Sevick said. "They were sitting on literally racks of computers that
they had moved out of offices, but can't sell ... and we're very glad to
JoAnn Jenny, Allegheny Airport Authority spokeswoman, said the airport
rotates out old equipment every three years. With computers' importance to
the travel industry, the airport has to stay on top of the latest
technology, which means that the computers they donate aren't in need of
much repair, Jenny said.
Jenny said the airport can't sell the computers, for legal reasons because
it is a government entity, and because it simply doesn't have the resources
to repackage and sell them. The airport has donated computers in the past,
but they were mainly going overseas, and officials hoped to find something
with more local impact, Jenny said. All the computers have their memories
erased before donation, Jenny said.
"Dave is thrilled to get machines that don't need a lot of work, and we're
really thrilled to be able to help. ... It's a real win-win for both
parties, Jenny said.
Sevick said the Center for Hope has partnered with the Pittsburgh YMCA in
the computer outreach program.
The center will take care of rehabbing Macintosh computers, while the YMCA
will take the PCs, the primary type being donated by the airport. Both
centers distribute the machines to needy people locally, but Sevick said
through a new partnership with the United Methodist Church, they will be
sending some to Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, where many lost their
belongings during the August 2005 hurricane season.
Sevick said the charities expect the first donation of about 40 old airport
computers in the next week.
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