Success Stories

HandyCapable enhances the lives of people in our community in so many ways!

  • Our computers are a tremendous help to the families that take them home.
  • Our HandyTechs love their work and enjoy the friendships they make at HandyCapable.
  • Our volunteers learn new skills and feel good about making their community stronger.
  • People who donate used computers know they are taking good care of their environmental and helping others at the same time.

Listen to what just a few of these people say about what HandyCapable has meant to them.

9th Grader Has Access to His School Work at Home

“I am the mother of a 15-year-old son in 9th grade who is struggling with his school work because we don’t have computer at home,” said a single mother as she picked up her refurbished computer in December.  “Everything is on line now, so we go back and forth to the library to try to get access, and that’s hard. I came to this area after a divorce and a car accident. I work part time, but I can’t afford all these electronics. My daughter is 28 and about to finish her masters. I want my son to have the same educational opportunities she had, and he needs a computer to do this.”

Flashing a big smile, she added, “I want to say that you folks at HandyCapable made this easy for me, not a difficult process at all. Everyone here has been very personable!”

Brenda, Mother of HandyTech Ed, Almost At a Loss for Words

“It’s so hard to put into words how much HandyCapable means to Ed and how much we admire Barbara Davis and her can-do attitude,” says Brenda, mother of one of the HandyTechs. “My family is so grateful for Barbara and her vision and mission to provide a meaningful, worthwhile workplace for our son, as well as the other HandyTechs. Barbara’s understanding and insight into those with disabilities allows her to accept them, warts and all, and to have expectations about their productivity when others see only their disabilities.”

Ed_rambach“Our son, Ed, has been a volunteer at HandyCapable for about 6 years now, and he still is excited about going to work and having fun with the folks he has met there. Ed has truly found his calling at HandyCapable because working on computers is so motivating for him. Because of his deafness, there are barriers in other work environments. But Ed doesn’t need to talk to breakdown a computer or re-program a hard drive. Ed is even inspired to wear his hearing aids so he can test the sound on the systems,” Brenda laughs. “There is a common bond among the HandyTechs that transcends language. They share special moments and laughter flows freely.”

“Family and friends who know Ed have been so touched by his broad grins and enthusiasm when they ask him where he works. They have joined us in making donations of money and computers (which have come from as far away as Florida, Alabama and Georgia) to this wonderful organization. As a family, we will support Barbara however we can, so that she can keep HandyCapable going!”

The Kids Are a Real Wiz!

Jacqueline from Greensboro said about their new computer from HandyCapable, “My husband and I are just learnin’ but the kids are a real wiz on it! Thank you very much.”

“IT is for Girls” Camper Now Volunteers at HandyCapable

katherineThis summer, Katherine, a junior in high school, attended the “IT is for Girls” summer camp run by UNC-G. It included a computer building workshop at HandyCapable. “The field trip to HandyCapable was the most fun part of the camp,” she commented. “We got hands-on with computers.” Katherine now volunteers weekly at HC. “I enjoy volunteering at HandyCapable. It’s the highlight of my week.” She takes apart computers, loads software, and wipes hard drives. “I’ve been surrounded by computer technology my whole life, but had never dealt with the hardware before. The HandyTechs and other volunteers have been very helpful. I enjoy working with them and learning from them.” Katherine plans to study computer science, software engineering, or physics at college in a few years.

Another camper said, “The IT is for Girls program kind of reminds me of Geek Squad. I think it is very important to learn these things about computers, especially for girls. It seems if we don’t, we are always having to ask a guy to help us.” At HandyCapable, we couldn’t agree more!

“Why Would I Go Anywhere Else?” asks Laptop Owner Diane

Diane stopped by HandyCapable to pick up her laptop, which was being repaired by one of our volunteers. “Barbara does such a good job, why would I go anywhere else?”

Diane met Barbara years ago at Sanctuary House, a local non-profit for which HandyCapable does computer networking and trouble-shooting. Diane was having trouble with a computer then, too. “I took a table-top computer to Barbara and she fixed it right up. Anytime I call her about a computer problem, she says, ‘Bring it right in!’ We’ve been friends ever since that first computer.”

“Barbara is such a generous and nice person. She cares so much about handicapped people. And she runs such a good program here at HandyCapable!”

Woman Completes Degree, Thanks to a Weaver Grant and HandyCapable

A woman who was taking online classes at GTCC wanted one of HandyCapable’s computers in August, 2012. She had a 13-year-old daughter, a 9-year-old son, and a new baby. They had just moved into a new house so she knew she wouldn’t have any money until the following month, certainly not the $100 fee HandyCapable normally charges for a refurbished computer.  But she needed a computer at home right away to do her coursework. “Going to the library and waiting for computer time, which is only an hour anyway, is so difficult, especially with a baby!”

Fortunately we could qualify this woman for assistance from the Weaver Grant that HandyCapable had recently received to help us distribute computers to more families. With grant money paying the bulk of the fee, the woman went home with a complete desktop computer system, including a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, for only a $35 copay. Overjoyed, she told us, “You’re awesome!”


Daisy at Work on a HandyCapable-Refurbished Computer

daisyDaisy’s story is a great example of how HandyCapable’s refurbished computers both help individuals and make our community a better place to live. Years ago, Daisy, who is disabled with cerebral palsy and has just one working hand to type with, was frustrated at failing a required key-boarding class at a community college.  Barbara Davis took Daisy under her wing, equipped her with a refurbished computer, and helped her learn typing skills and how to run the computer.  Daisy eventually got her associate degree and even got an “A” in the on-line version of the key-boarding class! She later earned a full college degree, as well.

Recently Daisy found part-time employment as a Peer Counselor at Cape Fear Vocational Services in Greensboro, whose purpose is to help disabled clients find employment.  Her boss says, “Daisy is uniquely qualified for the job, since she was originally a Cape Fear client herself.” Not long ago, HandyCapable installed a 3-computer network at Cape Fear’s offices. Today Daisy uses one of those refurbished computer to do her job and improve life for others.