Pensions board donates used computers


By Woody Woodrick

Advocate Editor

When the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits began updating its computers, Sean McAtee had an idea.

Director of the Tech Shop at United Methodist Communications in Nashville, McAtee figured the computers would still be useful for churches hammered by Hurricane Katrina.

“Normally, computers are sold or given to somebody,” said McAtee. “I talked to them and got them to donate the computers. I agreed to pick them up and drive them down to Mississippi and Louisiana.”

The Board of Pensions agreed to have the computer hard drives cleaned off and reformatted for new users.

McAtee and Jeff Byrd, who also works at UMCom, arrived March 30 in Jackson in a rented truck full of monitors, CPUs, key boards and mice (the computer kind).

The computers were dropped off at Central United Methodist Church and will be distributed to churches in the Seashore District who requested them.

McAtee and Byrd left Evansville, Ill., a Chicago suburb, on March 30 and drove about 12 hours to Jackson. They dropped off 23 computers in Mississippi, and then headed to Louisiana. McAtee said a total of about 115 computers were donated. That includes about 20 laptops that will be shipped later.

“It is important to find meaningful ways to continue to assist those affected by Katrina and especially to help rebuild churches, which help people to rebuild lives,” said Barbara A Boigegrain, general secretary of the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits.