Colin Toth of Kilworth repairs discarded computers in his basement and donates them to the needy.
(DEREK RUTTAN, The London Free Press)

Colin Toth wants his three sons to know that giving back to the community can take place by small bits and bytes.

That’s why the Fire Prevention Inspector and former IT technician started Project Comp-U-Give with the Salvation Army and Western University.

Toth teaches computer skills to families and provides each household with a computer, donated by the university and refurbished by Toth and his sons.

“It was a fantastic team effort,” Toth said. “This is a city project and it’s benefiting the city.”

Project Comp-U-Give launched last week with a session for six families who had registered with The Salvation Army.

Toth instructed the families on how to operate the computers as well as how to disassemble them and reassemble the machines again at home.

Many of the recipient families had limited knowledge of computers, Perron Goodyear of the Salvation Army said.

“These are folks who normally don’t have access to a computer,” said Goodyear. “Computers are an important part of our lives. We need them for job searches, kids need them for homework. This is about bringing dignity to folks, so they have a computer at home and can access what everyone else can.”

Toth’s eldest son Ray, 14, said it’s important to help out other kids who wouldn’t normally have a computer at home.

“My brothers and I usually carry all the boxes up and down the stairs,” he said, adding, “They’re pretty heavy.”

Project Comp-U-Give is hoping to have another session before Christmas. Colin Toth has plans to expand the program throughout Southwestern Ontario.

“I just want my kids to use their knowledge to give back and help,” he said. “If everybody takes on one small project in the community, it can really make a difference.”

Other families who believe they could benefit from the program, or who could donate recent-vintage computers, can call the Salvation Army at 519-433-6106.

via The London Free Press