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Small But Mighty

“As we ponder how far we have come, we are constantly amazed by how much a small group of people can accomplish,” reflected Guerra Freitas, as he discussed the recent donation of 51 computers to Angola University and the handful of people who worked together to make this important contribution possible.

“We can’t stress enough how useful these computers will be,” Freitas said. They will help establish a computer lab at Angola University, a critical learning and teaching tool for students and faculty and a necessary asset for a world-class institution.

A handful of dedicated individuals made this significant endowment possible, beginning with Jack Ranttila, Director of O’Hare Terminal 5 and member of the Rotary Club of Chicago O’Hare. His company had XP computers to donate and Jack was interested in using them to improve the lives of others somewhere in the world. Enter Fred Otto, a Rotarian at the same club and, fortuitously, a member of the Angola University Board of Advisors. Fred was able to speak about the incredible impact computer access would have on the university in Angola, and Jack generously offered to help, donating not only the computers but a router and cable to tie them together in a network.

Now the real effort began! Jack’s son, Timothy, spent many hours clearing the hard drives and rebooting the computers with a clean version of XP to ensure they will be as trouble free as possible once in Angola. Julius Belser and Joseph Marshak from Reba Place Church in Evanston, Illinois, took on the laborious task of picking up the computers at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, with Jack and Fred pitching in on the heavy lifting. Nevin Belser, from Reba Place Housing, provided the truck to transport the computers to Reba Place Church where they will be housed until they are shipped to Angola.

“The way this computer donation came about and the way the community and church came together to ensure that the computers were picked up and safely stored embodies what our organization is all about,” Mr. Freitas said. “We are truly a People-to-People Network, sharing everything we can to make sure that the Angola University dream comes true. As Margaret Mead beautifully put it, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’”

In order to make shipping the computers to Angola more economical, SHARE would like to buy 60 flat screen monitors to save space in the shipping container. Any donations toward this effort would be most appreciated. If you are interested, please contact us for more information.