Substation33 clocks up more than 700 refurbished computers in four months for Logan students and families
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By Stacey Whitlock, JIMBOOMBA TIMES | AUGUST 12 2020 – 4:30PM

AT the height of the coronavirus pandemic in April, Kingston’s Substation33 undertook a new challenge: to rebuild second-hand computers for Logan families.

Four months on, more than 700 computers have been provided to families across Logan, as well as parts of Ipswich and the Scenic Rim.

Substation33 founder Tony Sharp said more than 1500 young people had gained access to a computer through the program.

While it originally helped students while they were learning at home due to COVID-19, Mr Sharp said more and more families were realising the value of computers in education.

“When COVID hit, some schools … sent computers home from school stock, but when school started up again the computers had to be returned,” he said.

“We had a second wave of interest then because people then realised computers are important.

“It’s very interesting, non-intended consequence for us.

“Low-income families have got to pay for food and other essentials so the last thing on their mind is technology. Sometimes they’ve never been shown the value of a computer.”

The price for rebuilt computers starts from $100.

“We’ve seen a couple dozen people paying it forward, which is great,” Mr Sharp said.

“That way, when someone does come along and they’re out of cash, we can give them that computer that’s already been paid for.”

Unwanted computers were donated by families, businesses and schools from around the region.

On average, they take four hours each to prepare for their new owners.

“We’d much prefer to get desktops over laptops into homes because they can become part of the family furniture,” Mr Sharp said.

“They can be used by the kids and the parents.

“Really, what we want to do is give more life to something that would have otherwise been thrown out.”

For more information, visit the Substation33 Facebook page.