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KRAMDEN INSTITUTE INC
February 17, 2011

I happened onto Kramden because I wanted to recycle several computers. I dropped by to drop them off and asked a few questions. The Volunteer coordinator took the time to explain their mission and invited me to join. Well, what they were doing and the friendiliness they showed convinced me to try them out. I came back on the Wednesday worknight and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I have 30+ years of computer experience and I immediately saw they had set up a process that was accessable by volunteers of all skill levels. I was able to read the prepared sheets on each workstation and immediately felt I was contributing. A very good feeling.

But it went beyond that. Everyone around me was friendly. I heard the long term volunteers cheerfully answering the questions of the newest volunteers. They were laughing and having fun and making computers for kids that didn't have a single computer in the house. At the end of the night, I heard a new high school volunteer telling her father how included she felt, how she was coming back next week. This seemed almost too good to be true. Shortly after my first few sessions, and I still wasn't sure I was going to continue, i went to what they call a GAT (Geek-A-Thon) where they basically take the show on the road. The same fun/cheerful chemistry continued by in a different venue. This new people see what Kramden was doing in their own back yard. It was fun to see the new people have the same experience I had had. I also absolutely knew it was not a fluke. This was a committed happy group of people. I found myself developing friendships with high school kids and older professionals like myself and college students to boot.

Then I got to see the kids get their computers. I saw families come in with proud parents standing behind the recepient who also looked happy, solemn, proud, and excited, all at the same time. All the while their younger siblings danced in excitement tugging and pulling on their older sister/brother's arms. I had purposefully tracked a machine I had taken through the whole process and watched it given away. It was moving and as I watched another cheerful volunteer explain is use. It was real. It was a point of joy in these kids lives. It was an encouragement to continue their hard work in school (teachers nominate hardworking students). It was something that could help this person level the "playing field" for themselves. It was a gift joyfully given. I was hooked. I am hooked.

So if you want a place where you can see the tangible fruits of your labor and see how they directly affect others in a positive manner, and learn, and meet other kind friendly people of all ages, and do it all among a cheerful giving manner, Kramden Institute is a great place to be.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have been going to Kramden from last July 2010 to the present.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

There are operational improvements, such as processing incoming contributions that we are working to change. But this is a well focused group with a well-defined mission, focused goals, strong leadership in board and management (I am not a member of either), great committment to its volunteers, with the flexibility to improve its final product to the students it serves. There is very little to improve. It is a good example of "if it ain't broken, don't fix it."

More feedback

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I have met many new friends. People I enjoy spending time with.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

It brings me happiness and contentment. The smiles on my fellow volunteers and on families it affects is tremdious.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I spend every Wednesday night, some Saturdays, building and giving computers to students throughout North Carolina. Students who don't have a single computer in their household. I help teachers reward hardworking students that the teacher nominates. I .

Review from Guidestar