Eckerd and Boeing team up to create holiday magic for disadvantaged children and their families in region

BBN BREVARD BUSINESS NEWS
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COCOA (December 17, 2012) — The Boeing Co.’s donation of 40 computer systems to the Eckerd Computers 4 Kidz program will help bring smiles to many faces of disadvantaged children and their families in Brevard County.

At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 19, in the Endeavour Elementary School Media Center, Eckerd will host its annual “Computer Under the Tree” holiday giveaway.  This special event will bring tears to parent’s eyes as they are able pick up a newly refurbished computer for their child that they otherwise would not have been able to afford, said Richard Rogers, operators director for Eckerd.

For the Computer Under the tree event, Eckerd only notifies the parent or caretaker and not the child to take part in the giveaway, so the parent may choose to have Santa deliver the computer on Christmas morning.

“Many of the parents and caretakers feel it’s a Christmas miracle to be able to give their child a computer,” said Rogers, of the Clearwater–based company. “Many of these children or their families have never owned a computer, something many of us take for granted.” Boeing has donated hundreds of computers to Eckerd’s “Computers 4 Kidz” program, he said.

Through computer donations from generous companies like Boeing as well as caring individuals in the community, Eckerd has given more than 600 refurbished computers to children and families since the start of the program in 2005.

“It’s so good to see the end result of many Boeing employees’ hard work,” said Deborah Kelly, the global corporate citizenship and community investor for Boeing Florida. “It’s very rewarding, and great to see all the smiles.”

Eckerd utilizes information–technology volunteers to refurbish the donated computers, making full working computer systems filled with educational programs. “Computers 4 Kidz” also partners with other organizations in the community to help create computer labs where kids who don’t have access to computers and can do homework after school. These facilities include Travis Park Recreation Center in Cocoa, Brevard County Youth Center, the Boys and Girls Club in Mims and several others.

“In today’s schools it is almost essential for kids to have a computer and a printer to do homework and Eckerd wants to ensure that no child has to go without,” says Stanley Brizz, supervisor for Eckerd. Any Brevard County family with a child in need may apply to receive a free computer. Computer requests are prioritized based on need and approved upon availability.

If you have a child in need of a computer or would like to donate a computer, call 633–7090. To learn more about Eckerd or its Brevard County programs, visit website at www.eckerd.org.

Established in 1997, Eckerd in Brevard County provides a full range of services to families through various programs. For instance, Eckerd Family Visitation Services’ provides child–abuse prevention, family preservation and parental coaching and mentoring services. Eckerd Brevard is funded in part by Brevard Family Partnership, Central Florida Cares Health System, and the Department of Children and Families.

Eckerd is a national nonprofit organization that has given much–needed second chances to more than 120,000 children and families since its founding by Jack and Ruth Eckerd in 1968. It serves about 15,000 children and their families each year through a full continuum of life–changing behavioral health and child–welfare programs and services in six states.

To learn more, visit www.Eckerd.org.