Calgary

Donation of 100 refurbished laptops benefits young Calgarians

A charity that helps young refugees and immigrants has 100 refurbished laptops, thanks to two Calgary organizations.

'This will help me connect with my teachers, and do my assignments'

Candy Serrano (centre) holds the newly refurbished laptop she was given on Friday as part of a gift to the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth. (CBC)

A charity that helps young refugees and immigrants has 100 refurbished laptops — thanks to two Calgary organizations.

The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth (CBFY) got the donation from the Electronics Recycling Association (ERA), which got them from its donor, Hitachi Solutions Canada.

"This will help me connect with my teachers, and do my assignments," said Candy Serrano, 17, a first-generation Canadian whose parents came to the country from Chile and Guatemala.

"This is a family gift. It's not only for me — it's for them too."

ERA had the computers professionally data wiped and refurbished.

It then handed them out on Friday to families nominated by the foundation.

Some of the donated laptops will remain at the CBFY facility in a new onsite computer lab for its clients.

Umashanie Reddy, CEO of the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth, says the charity's clients generally have low incomes and cannot afford new computers. (CBC)

Umashanie Reddy, the foundation's CEO, says clients of the charity are all low-income families and buying a new computer is not often in the budget.

"Some of them are able to use the computers at the libraries, some are able to use the computers at their schools," Reddy said. 

"But what we want to ensure is that a family and a child has a computer when they get home to continue the work that they started in school and started in the libraries," she added.

The foundation serves more than 13,000 youth and their families in Calgary annually.