Welcome To Linux Luminaries

Friday, August 7, 2009

This is the first post of many to come.

The HeliOS Project is a non-profit organization that obtains old or repairable computers, refurbishes them and then gives them to disadvantaged kids in the Central Texas area. We have delivered our machines as far away as Wichita Falls Texas. Some of our laptop machines have been donated to people going on missions in Tonga, Eastern Europe and Africa.

To this date, we should install our 1000th computer by November 2009.

For years, I ran this project out of my own back pocket. When I was making 90K a year, I didn't mind putting 5-7 thousand dollars a year into the project...but things change.

People lose their jobs.

And so it was with me...but I didn't pout or lament for long. I began to understand that The HeliOS Project is what I am supposed to be doing. Not driving a truck and devoting time to it whenever I could. Even the most severe of pay cuts, such as this, are blunted by knowing you are doing what it is you love. That being the case, I've needed help to do what I do. A tireless and selfless asset to the Austin Tech Community named Lynn bender spearheaded a project called "Linux Against Poverty".

Lynn is a Database Guru that has done more for The HeliOS Project than any one individual to present. To host this project, Lynn spent much of his own money and hundreds of hours making it happen. This project brought roughly 50 Austin Techies together to accept, triage and repair close to 100 computers for us to give away. Lynn's efforts have launched our project into the limelight and we owe him much more than we can ever repay.

Simply stated, without Lynn's help, we would still be dumpster diving for the computer parts we use to build our machines.

Some of the people who showed up were Corporate CIO's and Fortune 500 Company Executives. They rebuilt computers, loaded trucks and did all the grunt work everyone did to make this work. It was an amazing day. It was truly a day of discovery.

But having over 100 computers presented its own unique problem. How do we get the computers to a growing list of kids? Good intentions and feeling good about this does not fuel the vehicle to deliver the computers or fix it when it breaks down. The HeliOS Project announced the "Walk A Kid Home" program. Not literally walking them home of course, but figuratively...by showing them the way to a brighter future through technology and Linux.

In short, it is an individual sponsorship program that allows people to donate the cost of installing 1 computer in a kids home. The average cost is $25.00.

On these pages, you will find pictures and reports of each install we do and the name of the person or entity that sponsored that child's computer. We think this is a wonderful way to both fund our effort and give credit to those who make this project possible. So bookmark us and come back often. We are going to be populating this page at a rapid rate.

You are going to be surprised at the amount of computers we install for kids...

As well as the number of people who truly care.



Amenditman said...

Well, I have to say, this has been one of my desires for the Project. To be able to see and hear about the individuals and installs involved.

I know it's just one more thing to add to the heap, but I think you will see so many positive benefits it will be worth the effort.

All the Best