Friday, December 10, 2010

Foundation Repurposes Computers to Keep
Military Families Connected and School Children Successful

By Staff

Since December 2002, John Iasiuolo, the host of Computer Outlook Talk Show, has shared his technology journey with listeners by combining his New York Italian style, his disarming sense of humor, and his child-like curiosity with some of the industry’s most respected leaders under the guidelines of just one rule: tech talk with zero techno-babble. In the eight years since the inception of the show, Iasiuolo has earned the trust and respect of well over a million unique online listeners every month.

In the process of gaining confidence and expertise in the computer industry, Iasiuolo discovered two segments of the U.S. population that are not fortunate enough to own or have access to a computer: under-resourced children and families of deployed service personnel.

“I read in a 2009 Nielsen’s report that as many as 9.7 million children do not have access to a computer; yet more and more of the world is revolving around computers,” observed John. “The fact is, school children without computers cannot compete academically with their peers who have ready access to the vast information and resources available on the Internet. This ultimately contributes to the ever-growing gap between economically stable families and those families who are considered ‘working poor.’ The other group most in need of computers, deployed military personnel, rely on communication with their family at home to keep them connected. It’s a priceless commodity, and although many overseas bases and stations have a few computers available for the deployed service personnel to use, there are usually more personnel than computers, resulting in limited communication with family members waiting stateside.”

In interviewing many of the computer industry’s guests on his show, John learned of another problem—this time within the business community.

“Every year, Fortune 500 corporations update and upgrade their employees’ computers,” explained Iasiuolo. “When they are replaced, those perfectly good, end-of-lease computers are often stripped for parts or simply thrown away.”

But outdated computers that are sent to the landfill pose a hazardous threat to the environment: monitors contain lead, central processing units contain mercury and chromium, and the systems themselves contain arsenic and halogenated organic substances.

“That’s when I realized that we could help both sides,” said Iasiuolo, “those who needed computers and those who needed to get rid of computers, and I established the Outlook Foundation. Now instead of being thrown away, a company’s computers can be repaired, refurbished, and repurposed to ensure a castaway resource is placed in the hands of those who need them most.”

According to Iasiuolo, the mission of the Outlook Foundation is simply defined: to repurpose computers and give them to under-resourced children, as well as deployed service personnel and their stateside families. Since its launch in November, 2010, the foundation has acquired corporate commitments to provide 4,000 laptops and nearly twice as many desktop computers to begin filling those needs in the first quarter of 2011.

By resourcing these unwanted computers, Iasiuolo’s foundation will not only help individuals directly, but ultimately the program will help companies economically adhere to the latest disposal guidelines intended to protect the environment. In return, the companies receive a certificate documenting that the technology was either repurposed or recycled and that all electronic data on functional storage devices has been erased by means of a destructive overwrite processes described in U.S. Department of Defense document DOC 5220.22-M to ensure the data is not recoverable.

“It’s a solution that not only provides immediate help to people, but also helps reduce technology’s negative impact on the environment,” said Iasiuolo. “The foundation will recycle computer components, and any technology that cannot be refurbished will be disposed of using certified organizations to ensure hazardous waste will be kept out of landfills.”

The underlying reason behind Iasiuolo’s passionate pursuit of this dream began on December 7, 2007, when he contracted congestive heart failure and, consequently, kidney failure. As a very successful dialysis patient who is in many ways healthier now than he has been in a long time, Iasiuolo feels he has been given a second chance at life.

“This is my way of paying forward in a tangible and hopefully significant way for all the times my own life has been touched so positively by experiences and the people around me,” said Iasiuolo.

To further help ensure that they are opening doors to new opportunities when they provide a computer to an under-resourced child, the Outlook Foundation has teamed with several technology education leaders to provide education vouchers that will give families the tools to fully embrace those prospects. These education vouchers will allow computer recipients to pursue a technology education at no cost to the family. They will learn Microsoft Office programs such as Excel and Word, open source community applications, entertainment applications, including photo and video editing, and more.

“By walking that extra mile alongside our adopted families,” said Iasiuolo, “the foundation and its partners are providing the chance at better; more financially secure futures for our young people.”

The Outlook Foundation is currently in the process of receiving 501c3 non-profit status. For more information or to make a donation, please visit or call 888-782-3610.


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