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Local man donates computers for seniors

By Lyndy Berryhill

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — The surf is up for local senior citizens looking to stay connected to the Internet or hoping to stay updated on the latest computer application.

Local electronics technician Roy King recently donated five computers and one printer to the Natchez Senior Citizen Center, which will allow those at the center to surf the web.

King plans to install the equipment after the holidays.

“I am just awaiting the classroom to be readied for the computers to go in,” King said. “Once that space is prepared for me I will only need a day to do the final assembly, and setup.”

King previously donated and installed eight computers for other senior resource centers in Vidalia and Ferriday. King said he made the donations because he is concerned many senior services are going digital-only and will end up leaving older people who do not have Internet access behind.

“Twenty years ago you went to an office, took your paperwork and they would process it,” King said. “How is somebody 80 years old going to know how to apply online?”

King buys most of the desktops in bulk online, replaces minor parts and software and donates them.

Local residents Tommy Kilroy and Mary Ann Spell also helped by donating $300 collectively toward expenses.

King said most of the funds were used to buy audio headphones and headphone hangers for the three centers.

King said he has donated computers to other charities in the past, but felt he had saturated all of their needs. That is when he decided to help senior centers.

“I was looking for someone else to help because I had excess computers,” King said.

When King contacted Spell about the project, she agreed to help.

“King has worked on our computers for over three years,” Spell said.

Spell said King previously restored her son’s old laptop and donated it to a military veteran to help him look for a job.

“I’ve just been so impressed with him and his Christian generosity,” Spell said. “I’m very happy to be a part of it.”

At one time, the Natchez Senior Center had computers until they became obsolete. For several years the computer lab was used as an office space and room for filing cabinets

Margaret Harveston, who works in client services, said the computers are needed.

When the lab is complete, Harveston said the center would begin offering computer classes.  The classes have been in demand in the past, and Harveston said she hopes more people will be able to benefit from them.

The lab will be located on the second floor of the senior center.

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