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Chance meeting at sporting event results in free laptops

Boring Middle School Principal Courtney Murphy scored a big one for her school when she had a brief conversation with David Drasin at a school sporting event in May.

Drasin happens to be the assistant field office director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Oregon, and his agency was sitting on a collection of extra computers.

Thanks to an executive order from President Bill Clinton in 1996, the agency had an option for the 23 laptops: list them for donation to schools under the Computers for Learning program.

“Normally the computers would be auctioned off or sent for destruction,” said Drasin. “There are very strict rules on disposing of excess equipment, and prior to this executive order, it would not have been an option.”

Drasin said taking the steps to list the computers for donation takes a little extra time.

“It’s worth the little bit of extra work to get these computers out there,” he said. “We have to list these computers on the federal government website for other agencies to see. Then there’s an internal screening within Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It is a slightly easier process to simply send the computers for destruction, but getting them to the community is worth it. We not only work here, we live in this community, and we want to be able to give something back.”

Given the demand for such items, Murphy clearly was at the right place at the right time to be able to get the computers for her school.

“If we don’t have a district in mind, we list them on our site,” said Drasin. “And the day we listed these computers, there were several inquiries asking for them, until officials from Boring came out to claim them.”

To see more items up for donation, visit computersforlearning.gov