Calgary

Calgarian keeping newcomers connected with free computers

A Calgary man has devoted the last two years giving away free computers to newcomer and low-income families.

A local man is buying and upgrading laptops for families in need

Dustin Lo buys and upgrades laptops before delivering them to families in need. (Dustin Lo)

A Calgary man has devoted the last two years giving away free computers to newcomer and low-income families.

Dustin Lo, who is fascinated by technology and computer hardware, spends his own time and money stocking up on used laptops and desktops from online sites and thrift shops. He's recently had people reach out with donations.   

Lo upgrades and sanitizes the machines before personally delivering the free essentials to families in need.

"It really breaks the inequality in terms of access to information, access to knowledge and access to linguistic know-how for them," he said.

"For them, it's really, really important because this is almost like a medium … to connect with the world and to learn English. Learning English is really important for them to integrate into this great Calgarian community."

Lo carries the upgraded computers in his backpack before delivering them to families. (Dustin Lo)

Lo connects with families mainly through the Calgary Immigrant Support Society.

Sue Dawoud, who arrived in Canada a year ago, said her family is among 35 other families who received help through Lo.

"It's very important because the way of study here is different from my home country. Here, it's more by computer and we need that for interactions with others and also for being connected with other ones," she said.

Lo said more and more people are reaching out for support as a result of COVID-19.

But, at the same time, more community members are stepping up to help.

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