PCs for People was formed in 1998 when Andy Elofson, a Blue Earth County social worker, arranged a donation for a local teen that was computerless. The computer was donated by Blue Earth County to assist this boy’s exploration into his interest in computers. The boy had been expelled from school and was unsure where to turn. Six months after the donation the boy was creating a positive future for himself by developing web pages for a business in Mankato. Several months after the first computer was donated by Blue Earth County, another one was offered and then two months later, 30 more became available. Andy recruited several tech savvy high school students from an alternative high school to look over the computers and make sure no viruses or personal data was left on the machines.
As the idea and need grew, Andy started to make contacts with agencies about getting equipment to families who did not have computers. Everyone was receptive, PCs for People quickly outgrew their office and moved into a larger space. In 2000, PCs for People was added to the Minnesota state list for computer donations and became a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher.
Partnerships were formed with South Central College, Minnesota State University – Mankato along with several area high schools to provide service-learning/internship opportunities for students. Over 2,500 computers have been refurbished and distributed since 1998.
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