Putting computers into the hands of Tulsa kids who need them

Wednesday, November 24th 2004, 10:12 am
By: News On 6

The North Pole project brings cops and computers together for the second year in a row. A Tulsa Police officer and his fellow elves donated 38 refurbished computers to kids last year that could never have afforded one. They hope to donate 80 computers this year.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright explains that on December 20th, instead of taking a bite out of crime, these officers will be giving a gigabyte of joy.

When we first met TPD officer Glenn Deweese, he was working out of a back room at his house and hoped to donate 10 computers to kids in need. That number more than tripled by Christmas Eve when officers delivered gifts that lit up faces.

A year later, Glenn has a non-profit group called PC-Power, set up in donated office space at CityPlex Towers. Volunteers help him work on computers, so much so, they're giving every child at Cleveland Middle School a home computer within three years and can give away 80 computers to kids this Christmas. "Computers are such a necessity now and computer literacy and we're leaving a whole generation of kids out.”

Glenn hopes a computer will put those kids on equal footing, opportunities that might just keep them out of gangs and a life of crime. And, it's all done with donations.

Right now, they have plenty of computers, what they need for Christmas are speakers, children's software and memory. Anything that Glenn's group can't use, is donated to a computer recycling business so that almost nothing ends up in the landfill.

In addition to this being good for kids, Glenn says seeing officers play Santa is also good for community relations. "People don't get to see us in a positive role. Even when they call us because they need us, they wish they didn't have to. And, this does that, it's especially good for kids to see us in a totally positive role."

Glenn never imagined his humble dream would grow so big and help so many, no doubt, Santa would be proud. Other than the speakers, children's software and memory, Glenn is not accepting any computer donations from individuals right now, only from businesses. He does plan to have a computer drop-off day in January where anyone can get rid of old computers and parts.

That date will be listed on his web site.