If weight gain and retention were to be chosen as an indicator for one's health, by all indications, I am at my peak...
The reason we closed down is simple. We were out of computers to give away. We had several on hand but they were scheduled for installs already. Once we dispatched those, our cupboards were bare.
As if on cue...I got a call from Michael Zagger.
Michael is the Division Vice President of Cardiovascular Sales at St. Jude Medical here in Austin. Michael had personally donated some laptops and other computer components a few months back. He also stated that he was going to talk to his Group President about doing a mass donation of laptops in the near future.
Now I know how this goes at times. When one person might see the need, those above him might not see it as a priority. Other times their IT department might have policy in place that dictates the decommissioned machines be auctioned or go to specified non profits.
It wouldn't be the first time we were passed over for corporate donations. Hey, it happens....just move along and do the best you can.
Mike Zagger was persistent. According to Michael T. Rousseau, Group President, St. Jude Medical...
Mike Zagger "wouldn't take no for an answer."
On Wednesday, December 8th, we were called to the Austin headquarters of St. Judes.
It was there that we were presented with 75 laptops.
That's seven in the tens column, five in the ones column.
We arranged for the first recipient of these laptops to be present. Kernetta Owens and her dad, Kirk were able to make the trip to south west Austin for the ceremony. Kernetta is an A and B student at Connelly High School in Pflugerville Texas where she is an Advanced Placement student and is active in band. Kirk is a disabled vet and isn't able to give Kernetta the computer she needed for school.
Left to right, Ken from HeliOS, Mike Zagger, Kernetta Owens and Michael T. Rousseau, Group President, St. Jude Medical
These laptops aren't exactly museum pieces. We received:
45 Vaio VGN-TX770P laptops
30 Dell D610 Laptops.
Both of these laptop models have proven to be work horses and they should serve our kids well for years to come.
I want to personally thank St. Judes Medical for their generosity and for seeing the importance of small projects such as ours. We were in a position we had not found ourselves for years. We were out of computers and with Christmas coming, we had a large number of people requesting computers that would not get one.
From left to right, Skip Guenter HeliOS Project Director of Systems Engineering, Michael Zagger, Division VP, Cardiovascular Sales, Diane Franklin Records-keeper extraordinaire for HeliOS, Ken Starks. Kernetta Owens, Kirk Owens, Mark Thornburg, HeliOS system-building volunteer, Michael T. Rousseau, Group President, St. Jude Medical and Paul Bae, VP of Human Resources and IT.
The St. Jude offer came without solicitation or contact from us.
Still, we got what we needed to do our work for this Christmas season and beyond.
Make of it what you will.