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Local families receive free computers

LAWTON, Okla._Old computers found new homes with needy families Saturday afternoon.

Each month, “Computers with a Heart” refurbishes used computers. They give those computers to kids for homework and to the unemployed, so they can apply for jobs online. The project is the brainchild of Lawton locals Bridget and Jay Sclama who were looking for a way to give back to the community. Since last October, they have been able to giveaway more than 100 computers. Saturday alone 20 needy families and individuals went home with computers that were new to them.

Recipient Joellen Lenhart-Hoffman says she came out Saturday to get a computer for her family.

"Education. My kids as they get older. When you are in financial constraints you need a computer for their educational advancement. Needless to say as they get older and older at school we need a computer for more and more assignments," says Hoffman.

Hoffman has four children and some of them have learning disabilities, but she says having a computer in their house will make all the difference in the world.

"Their teachers tell me they learn better on computer games, so there will be some games that I can put on the computer that will help them to learn better, which is wonderful for children with limitations so this is a big blessing to me today," said Hoffman.

Co-founder of “Computers with a Heart”, Bridget Sclama, says people like Hoffman are why she started this project with her husband.

"I know that I am helping people with children that maybe can't afford a computer, because when you got kids it's expensive to raise kids. A lot of them are single parents and so money is even more tight than normal or disabled people, unemployed. Times are rough for a lot of people so it makes me feel very very good and honored to be able to help people," said Sclama.

Hoffman says receiving this free computer is something she won't soon forget.

"This is wonderful. This is a very big gift. I already hugged the lady who said she was in charge of it. I was like thank you god this is a big blessing for a lot of people who have need of this item and can't access it in any other way," said Hoffman.

A new addition to the event are old school video game systems, like Atari which folks can play for a donation of their choice to help fund the purchase of more computers for the giveaway.

The next giveaway date will be posted on their Facebook page.

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