Local group Linux4Hope donates computers to needy

Two local teenagers are giving away computers to the needy through their organization, Linux 4 Hope.

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On Monday, the group delivered a new computer to Julia Bain and daughter Oceana.

“I’m going to be using it for educational games, and sometimes just plan old games,” Oceana Bain said.

Mother and daughter have been without a working computer for months, instead taking a bus to the library to use computers there. The trip took about 30 minutes, and time needed for mother Julia Bain's job search was always cut short.

“It would only be a maximum time, an hour, sometimes it would exceed that limit to an hour and a half, but it was hard to hurry up and do what you needed to do,” Julia Bain said. “I will not get off for a break, someone will have to kick me off in order for me to get off.”

The Manassas-based organization Linux4Hope is led by 18-year-olds Garron Haun and Jessica Waters, who draw on their passion for volunteering, technical knowledge and donations from the public.

“I had some friends donate some computers some mice and computers and monitors,” Haun said.

Any information stored on the machines was wiped out for security purposes, and a Linux operating system was installed. Haun says Linux tends to be virus-free, and a more stable system, making donations almost seamless.

“It makes a huge difference when you don't have to register with Microsoft or even Apple,” Haun said.

Potential candidates apply through the website, where they’re screened by the group to ensure all applications genuinely need computers.

“I’ve seen everything from just a name and a telephone number and a name, telephone number, address and a whole couple paragraphs on why the people deserve what we're giving,” Waters said.

The organization has volunteer networks in Richmond and Harrisonburg, Va., as well as Los Angeles and London. Demand is so high, they're looking for more donations of computers and parts. The goal is to expand their network and reach non-profit status.

The group is holding a fundraiser Monday night at the Tropical Smoothie Cafe at 9971 Sowder Village Sq. Manassas from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

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