This last week has been incredible for me. The funny thing is that the biggest thing that happened has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas.
This week I gave out my first Linux PC's to 12 needy families. The looks on the kid's faces that were receiving their first PC was beyond words. More than half the parents thanked me for the computers and told me that I had changed their children's lives. Other than the birth of my children, I cannot think of another thing in my life thas brought me that level of joy.
The unbelievable thing is that I was doing this with 'throwaway' PC's. According to the previous owners, they we not good for anything and I was crazy for taking their 'junk'.
Well, their junk and my ideas changed people's lives this week. I didn't take the 'junk' and ship it out on a pallet to a faraway destination. I looked the recipients in the eye and sat down with them to explain how the computer worked. Was it alot of work, you bet. It amounted to a 12hr day on Monday but I couldn't sleep a wink that night. I kept thinking of the smiling little girl I heard tell her grandmother, "this is a dream come true". And I'll never forget her grandfather who insisted on giving me $20. When I tried to tell him there was no need for him to give a financial donation he told me that Christmas had been taken care of and he wanted me to have whatever he had in his pocket. I humbly accepted and rummaged around in some boxes to find a set of speakers so the girl could listen to the music of Circus Linux, a game she fell in love with almost immediately.
Now that I have some PC's out, word is spreading like a wildfire. I am praying that the things I need for my organization will materialize. I am currently remastering 0.9.1 for my base distro to utilize Frugal. Unfortunately, I have already had someone hose their HD install!!
In the future I hope to hold seminars to help teach people more about the Linux PC's I'm distributing. There are many organizations shipping PC's to needy people all over the world but I know of very few who are actually taking the one on one hands on approach. It is not the easiest path to take but I believe I am destined to take on the challenge. One year ago learning Linux seemed to be a monumental hurdle but here I am a year later with my own custom OS.
None of this would have been possible without the help of many in the DSL community. You know who you are. You are the one's who answer my questions in the forums and who are bombarded with endless PM messages from me trying to understand certain aspects of Linux :-). To all of you, my friends, I want to share my experiences because you are an integral part of my success.
No Computer Left Behind, Inc.