It's spring time in Texas.
The Bluebonnets are fixin' to get ready to bloom, today's temperature is going to be around 80 degrees Fahrenheit and a solid date for the second annual Linux Against Poverty is, with a fair amount of certainty... official.
June 19th, 2010.
While we had planned a May event, that date has been changed...read further for us to 'splain.
For those who may not know what we do, The HeliOS Project takes donated P4 computers, refurbishes or repairs them and then gives them to Austin or Central Texas kids who normally would not be able to afford one. Linux Against Poverty is an annual event put together by Lynn Bender in order to collect those computers while members of the Austin Tech Community gather to repair and prepare them to be given away.
We had initially planned a May event but with South By South West happening within that 90 day window, we thought it would be a good idea to let both events have some breathing room.
With the Upcoming Texas Linux Fest, it's going to be a busy spring in Austin Texas. Hopefully, we'll be meeting with Robbie Williamson of Canonical on these pages to talk more about that event in particular in the next week or so..
But for now, let's talk about Linux Against Poverty.
Lynn Bender, founder of geekaustin.org and the organizational force behind LAP, called me last night to talk about how this year will be different.
We had a fair amount of corporate involvement last year. Many companies donated their decommissioned computers and sundry hardware components, however we didn't see the participation we had hoped for. Individual donations and drop-offs carried the day. We gained just over 200 placeable computers by the time the day ended. Those computers were gone by November that same year.
This year, we think and hope we might be able to increase that participation.
With several companies already showing an interest in offering prizes, Lynn has begun to put together a prize drawing to entice equipment donations. Each computer donated will enter the donor into a drawing at the end of the day and winners will be awarded prizes from the participating businesses. Businesses who donate computers can give their drawing tickets to their employees if they wish to do so. We have yet to firm up those prizes and companies so watch this blog or the facebook page for LAP for details.
While Union Park is almost certainly available for us as a venue this year, there are a number of other businesses and places that have shown an interest in hosting the event for us. Lynn will announce the location for Linux Against Poverty 2010 when it is decided and I will pass it along to you via this blog as soon as it is known.
While we were able to obtain permission from The Cristo Rey Catholic Church to name our computer learning center after Bruno Knaapen we have not yet been able to raise the funds for the brass plaque for that room. Unfortunately, response from Bruno's community has not been very good so I thought I would come here to mention it. If you would like to help us purchase this plaque, you can do so here.
AND...we are in need of a small flatbed scanner for our operations. With funding being as tight as it is, we've not been able to allocate the money to buy one so if you have one laying around, we sure could use it. If I had a wishlist to write to, I would hope that it would be USB-powered. We don't need anything powerful as much as we need it compact...our administrative space is small.
We are also humbled to be named as a nominee for the Dewey Winburne Community Service Award. The party and ceremony will be held at 6 PM on March 15th at Sholtz Garden in Austin during the SXSW Interactive portion of SXSW. Dewey Winburne was the PowerSource behind SXSW Interactive.
May God rest him.
Volunteer sign-up for LAP 2010 is doing extremely well and I want to thank those who are returning for the second event. I appreciate you more than you know...especially when I know YOU know just how much work last year was. We hope to streamline some of that this year and make it that much smoother.