Michele Hillier

Michele Hillier

Charity critically short of computer monitors

NANAIMO – Literacy Central seeks donations to its popular program.

A critical shortage of monitors is preventing Literacy Central Vancouver Island from supplying computers to local residents enrolled in the non-profit organization’s free learning programs.

“We have more than enough computers to meet present demand, but we don’t have nearly enough monitors to go with the boxes,” said Michele Hillier, Literacy Central executive director.

“Right now we have a request for 14 computers for adult learners that we can’t meet because we’re short of monitors.”

In appealing to the community for monitor donations to help bridge the gap, Hillier notes the need for computers for literacy learners is growing – like the donations program itself – as a result of social and technological change.

“Today, literacy is more than reading and writing – it also includes basic computer skills,” she said. “For example, today you need computer access and skills just to look for and apply for a job.”

Computers donated to Literacy Central are restored and redirected where they can best help learners. People who receive computers from the program are identified by outside agencies, which place requests to Literacy Central Vancouver Island on behalf of their clients.

The donations program has recycled more than 2,000 computers since its inception in 1999 and Hillier notes demand is continually growing. The program funnelled 100 computers to learners last year and is up to 140 to date in 2016, with no signs of slacking.

Volunteer Frank Hughes has watched that growth in demand over the 15 years he has headed computer refurbishment work from his basement workshop at Well Read Books on Commercial Street in downtown Nanaimo.

“This is the worst shortage I’ve ever seen here,” he says of the monitor shortfall.

To donate computers or monitors, or to learn more about the program, please contact Brian O’Rooney at brian@literacycentralvi.org

or in person at Literacy Central’s Well Read Books on Commercial Street in downtown Nanaimo.