About a month ago our friends at the Washington Literacy Center told us that their students got word that we were going to be helping out the Center with their IT needs and asked if we could help fix their personal computers. This definitely wasn’t our initial intent but we immediately worked with WLC to set up a night where the students could bring their personal computers to class and leave them with us while they were in class and we would work on them and have them ready for when class ended. Tonight was the big night.We were greeted with hugs from our friend Christina (yes we get hugs at the WLC!). We arrived about an hour before their class started to find that several students had already stopped by and dropped off their machines with notes for us outlining what needed to be looked at. Soon after more and more students started dropping off their machines for us to check out. Before we knew it we had over 20 machines that needed to be hooked up or diagnosed in some fashion.
I could not be prouder of our employees that volunteered their own time to help these people out. For three plus hours we worked on their machines with only a short break in the middle to have some pizza with all of the students and the instructors. It was great to see us all work together to help these people out. We all work for different customers at different sites but tonight we were a team. It was great to see. Amanda took the lead for us. She was our organizer and came up with a system to track all the equipment and what was wrong with all of them and what we did to fix them. Without her we would have had machines all over the place without any idea of who they belonged to or what the issues were with them. Chris, Tim, and Pete were our brains who did a lot of the trouble shooting on the machines. Pete joined us even though he is on vacation this week! It was fun watching Chris talk to computers as he tried to figure out how to get the viruses removed. Tim was able to help one of the staffers there set up remote access on her laptop so she can work from home now sometimes. We later found out she takes the bus 1.5 hrs each way to work everyday and will now be able to avoid this a few days a week because of this. Now THAT’S making a difference.
At one point during the night one of the managers of the center grabbed me and asked me if I minded helping out with something. One of the students there wants to ask his current job for a promotion. She was hoping I could basically play the role of his manager and let him practice his pitch to me and give him feedback. It took maybe 15 minutes and most of the time was just spent talking to the guy. I gave him a few tips and wished him luck and told him to please make sure he lets me know when he gets that promotion. The guy then thanked me for taking the time to listen and for “making him feel good about himself today”. I can’t stop thinking about these words. 15 minutes spent listening to this guy and it made his day. Tim’s figuring out how to let someone skip 3 hrs on a bus a few days a week…made her day. It’s one of those things that reminds me why we do these things. Sure we would rather be home with our families but to see how appreciative everyone was totally made it all worthwhile.
The staff and the students at WLC were so thankful for our time and the pizza. It was really an awesome night and I cannot wait for the next one!