Your Old Computer Generates Tax Receipts As Computers For
Schools Seeks More Donors
BY GEORGE LEE
Computers for Schools has logged on to a new way to attract donations
from small and medium-sized companies: the good old tax receipt. The successful
charity, which passes along used corporate and government computers to
schools, has already cashed in on year 2000 upgrading, says Lucien Villeneuve,
manager of Alberta Computers for Schools. Corporate giants have the write-offs
they need, so tax receipts for the computers they donated weren't an issue.
Then came the post-Y2K lull. Mr. Villeneuve says he's hoping receipts
will spur more APEGGA members and permit-holders into action, as well
as anyone else who could use a tax break.
Not that the sheer altruism of CFS hasn't worked. Collections across Canada,
in fact, are well ahead of target, Mr. Villeneuve notes. The non-profit
group, founded in 1993, had put some 175,000 computers into classrooms
and public libraries by last February, The PEGG reported then. The goal
was to reach 250,000 by next April.
More Computers Out There
Now, Mr. Villeneuve says plans are in the works for a national celebration
of the threshold as early as February 2001. Computers for Schools has
already reached 230,000 donations. There's plenty of room for growth,
Mr. Villeneuve maintains. "From the smallest organizations to the
largest, everyone has computers.
"This is a country of 30 million people, and we've collected 250,000
over nine years? There are a lot more out there." That means it's
essential to get the message out through organizations such as APEGGA,
Mr. Villeneuve says.
APEGGA Is Supporter
There are other reasons for APEGGA member involvement, too. Computers
for Schools fits in with the association's mandate to promote the sciences
and computer literacy among the public and, especially, among students.
APEGGA Council decided last November to become an official supporter.
Director, Communications & Public Affairs Chrys. Dmytruk, P.Eng.,
sits on the Alberta Computers for Schools Board of Directors.
Computers reach schools in three CFS streams: stand-alone systems, classroom
quantities for local area networks, and upgrading Pentiums, customized
to a school's needs providing they pay for added components.
Receipts are issued for donations of Pentium-level computers only. Tax
receipt valuations for complete systems (with CPU, SVGA monitor, keyboard
and mouse) are $150 for Pentium 100 to 120, $200 for Pentium 120 to 200,
and $250 for Pentium 233 and above. If anything's missing or not working,
For a CPU only, the receipt drops by $50. A monitor, providing it's SVGA
or better, generates a $50 receipt. Receipts won't be issued for other
components -- a mouse, a keyboard or anything else.
Making sure schools are well equipped with computers is important work,
Mr. Villeneuve says. "It's vital to the economic well-being of the
future of Canada," he says.
It's A Win-Win
The tax receipts should make Computers for Schools even more attractive.
"It's a win-win for everybody," says Mr. Villeneuve.
The program was co-founded in Ottawa in 1993 by Industry Canada and the
Telephone Pioneers, a volunteer organization of active and retired employees
of the communications industry. It's expanded to become a cross-Canada
partnership of the federal government, provincial governments, companies
and volunteers. CFS today operates refurbishing and distribution sites
across the country.
For more information about Computers for Schools, check the website net.edc.gov.ab.ca/cfs.
Contact Alberta Manager Lucien Villeneuve by phone at (780) 427-9002,
fax (780) 415-1091 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.