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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Kramden Institute Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Computer Science, Gift Distribution, Human Services, Technology

Mission: Providing technology tools and training to bridge the digital divide.

Target demographics: students, families, and communities

Direct beneficiaries per year: 3.500 students

Geographic areas served: North Carolina

Programs: technology tools and training to bridge the digital divide.

Community Stories

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great place to volunteer, especially after looking at a computer all day. You get to tear the computers down and refurbish them so they can be given to students who need technology. Fun work, reducing e-waste, and helping kids in need. Great combination!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had an old computer that I no longer had a use for, but that worked very well. After I bit of searching, I discovered Kramden as a way to get that computer into the hands of deserving students who would make great use of it.

When I went to donate the computer, the volunteers were very nice and professional. A number of student volunteers were present, and I was impressed at how everyone seemed to know exactly what to do.

Based on that, I decided to volunteer for Kramden. They have an amazing process for refurbishing donated computers that makes it possible for anyone to volunteer in a meaningful way, regardless of their level of computer expertise. They were a joy to work with.

Kramden helps students and at the same time prevents working computers from going to waste. They're a great organization deserving of your donation and available volunteer time.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering at Kramden in January 2009 as part of community service for a speeding ticket. I thought I would do my time and move on, but I'm still there. Its been great participating in the Geekathons, school giveaways, and of course refurbishing computers. Their efforts over my last two years there have resulted in giving away roughly 5000 computers to children who would otherwise not have access to technology. They have helped level the playing field for them to excel.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

...Kramden Institute is what a charity organization is all about.
- Making a difference to those in need
- A focused program with quality leadership
- Repeat corporate participation that sees the value
- A diverse group of volunteers experiening great fellowship
- Being underfunded and still getting the job done.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked for Kramden right out of college and absolutely fell in love with what the organization does for kids in the Triangle area and beyond. I had the opportunity to witness firsthand so many little faces light up knowing they were receiving newly refurbished computers to help them with their education at home. The people that work there and the volunteers are beyond amazing. This organization needs the funds to continue on b/c there are so many kids in NC alone and across the entire country that could greatly benefit from their services.

Kramden rocks!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering at Kramden in August '10 and the experience has exceeded my expectations. The refurbishing process is fun and easy to learn and all of the volunteers/staff are incredibly smart and attentive. I feel like I learn something new every time I work with them. Also, between the Wednesday Night Work Nights and Geek-a-Thons, there are a lot of opportunities to contribute. It really feels good to help children bridge the digital divide.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

About a year ago I found Kramden through a volunteer match site. I absolutely love it. Everyone is so nice and there are Super Geeks to help you learn all the stations. I really feel like I am helping my community because all the computers go to students in North Carolina and a lot go to students in nearby counties. Its really cool how by refurbishing computers we are helping the environment and helping kids and families right here.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Kramden is a special organization. You should see the kid's faces when they get their computer. They are so happy and their parents are thrilled too!
As a volunteer, I love working on the computers and getting them ready to be awarded.
All the staff and the volunteers are just great at Kramden. Lets give a big had to everyone!!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Kramden is a wonderful place to make a difference and there is a place for everyone who wants to help! Kramden is a program that provides students (and their families) with a computer refurbished by volunteers. It is a program that enables teachers to nominate hard working students who don't have a computer. I like that each week there is a place that I can come to fix, recycle, clean or teach others how help. It is a place run by thoughtful, intelligent, hardworking volunteers. I like that we have a good time yet have serious work to do and do it! I like that volunteers can make suggestions and they are heard! I think this is a great place to volunteer and feel appreciated.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From the first time I spent time at Kramden, I realized that they were performing a rewarding function. To be able to supply children and military families with something they might not be able to afford, a computer, was terrific. As the time passed and the numbers grew, it was easy to realize the impact they were having as they expanded their deliveries to more and more families.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Recently I heard about an opportunity at my work to refurbish computers at Kramden; even though I am not in IT like everyone else who was going I decided to go because I thought that Kramden had a really great and unique mission statement. I had the best time, the atmosphere at Kramden is one of knowing you are doing a good deed as well as pure fun. Its a great chance to bond with co-workers and its very neat to know that the computers you work on will be given to students. I have been back to Kramden twice on Wednesdays and will definitely keep coming back.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered on a couple of Geek-a-Thons organized by Kramden and was amazed by the motivation and enthusiasm of everyone involved with this organization. Computers and Internet are an indispensable part of life today and Kramden helps level the playing field for all hard working kids by providing them with refurbished computers.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked at Kramden multiple times over the last few years. Growing up and going to public schools has really opened my eyes to the hardships that some students have to go through. Kramden is able to ease the burden of many students and provide them with computers that under normal circumstances they might not have.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My children attend an inner-city school in downtown Raleigh. They were shocked to learn that some children can't do homework because they don't have a computer at home.

The folks at Kramden are working hard to close the "digital divide" and make sure that no hardworking child gets left behind just because their family can't afford a computer.

Kramden has volunteer opportunities for both geeks and non-geeks. My family refurbished computers to award to underprivileged students and we have participated in Award Days when the students come to pick up their computers. It is so incredibly touching to see how excited these kids are to get their "new" computers.

Kudos to Kramden for helping the kids!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering since November 2009. I love this place. The hardest part of volunteering is leaving at 9:00. I love the people that work there and the work environment is wonderful

Review from Guidestar

Dorothea E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I never thought that I would like working like this with computers. But when a family friend convinced me to try out Kramden, I absolutely loved it! My first day I awarded the computers to students that deserved them, and after seeing their faces light up I was inspired to volunteer a second time. I then worked on actually building up a computer and it has taught me more than years of computer use ever has. Thank you Kramden! You're a wonderful organization that deserves recognition.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have loved working as a volunteer and I really feel that my efforts are helping need families to get computer technology to help their kids get a better education. The work they do is outstanding.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at Kramden and have enjoyed the experience immensely. As I am not a computer "tech" it is great that they have opportunities for everyone no matter what your background is.

As computers are essential, it is fantastic that these computers go to a home that needs them...so much better than a landfill! The last time I volunteered I was giving the refurbished computers to the awardees and it was evident to me that the computer was going to help the whole family out.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had a great time working at Kramden. Even though, I know little about computers other volunteers were really willing to help me out so that I could work at all the stations. The staff there is really nice and I love that all the computers we worked on were being given to local student who were doing well in school. I really recommend volunteering at Kramden.

Review from Guidestar