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Computer Whiz

Jacob Komar is a computer fanatic. When the Connecticut student learned that his sister's school was throwing away computers, Komar had an idea.

He decided to rebuild these machines and give them to people who could not afford to buy them. “I thought that by doing this, I would help a lot of kids get a head start,” said Komar.

The school district gave Komar permission to take the old computers. After fixing these machines, he taught families how to use them. Beginning this work in 2001 at age 9, Komar founded Computers for Communities (CFC).

Word soon spread about Komar's project. People began giving him old computers to fix and donate to those in need. CFC also offers to help set up other groups throughout the country and to list them on the CFC Web site. The goal of these groups is also to find old computers, refurbish and donate them, as well as teach the recipients computer skills.

In December of 2004, a California-based corporation paired up with Komar to donate computers to three organizations chosen to distribute the machines to those in need. Private individuals also are encouraged to support Komar's all-volunteer organization.

“One of the things that keeps me going is the look on kids' faces when I deliver a computer and set it up,” Komar said. “It's like Santa Claus has come.”