MRDA News

Computers for Kidz and Joplin Disaster Contribution

Nov 4, 2011

The Missouri Rental Dealers Association is reached out to victims of the F-5 tornado that decimated Joplin, Missouri this spring by donating 24 computers to two area non-profits as part of MRDA's "Computers 4 Kidz" program.

In coordination with Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC) -- a non-profit organization of IT professionals who assist communities with technology continuity and recovery --  MRDA will present 12 desktops to the Four State Christian Home Schoolers Association and 12 laptops to AmeriCorps representatives next Tuesday at the Volunteer Center in Joplin.

MRDA President J. C. Cox of Gateway Home Furnishings said his MRDA knew where this years "Computers 4 Kidz" donation when the storms passed through the area.

"As soon as the tornado hit, we budgeted for "Computers 4 Kidz" because we knew we needed to get something done for Joplin," Cox said. "We knew where this year's donation was going to go, and Macy (Mitchell) has worked hard on getting together with area non-profits to put these computers to good use."

The Four State Christian Home Schoolers will use the donated computers in a new computer lab to allow students to complete computer based assignments and conduct research online. The lab will also be available after school hours to provide adults with access to computer training, continuing education courses, and online job searches.

Fifty students are currently enrolled in the program at the Joplin Family Worship Center branch, under the oversight of the Four State Christian School.

AmeriCorps provides volunteer management services for the ongoing tornado relief efforts in Joplin, matching citizen requests for repairs with skilled volunteers. The new computers will be used for volunteer recruiting, tracking service requests and documenting volunteer activities and the donation will replace systems currently on loan to the organization from Missouri Southern State University.

Macy Mitchell, Vice President of the MRDA will present the computers at 11AM. 

"The AmeriCorps donation is slightly outside of our box, but we saw the need in Joplin" said Mitchell Director of Operations for All American Rental & Sales and VP and Chairman of Communications for MRDA. Mitchell's company lost a store in the tornado.

MRDA sponsors a "Computers 4 Kidz" program annually, providing computers to schools and organizations which further child development and education and has been a leading state association in the rent to own industry and a five-time winner of the APRO "State Association of the Year" award for its outstanding contributions to the industry and member-communities.

Local MRDA members and hundreds of their customers were impacted by the F5 tornado that struck the community on May 22, destroying a third of the town.

ITDRC staff will install and configure the new equipment for both organizations as a public service through their ongoing recovery initiative in Joplin.

About MRDA

The Missouri Rental Dealers Association (MRDA) works with the Association of Progressive Rental Organizations (APRO) to provide membership and the general public with the latest information regarding legislative initiatives concerning the rent-to-own industry. They are a 5 time recipient of the APRO "State Association of the Year" award for their outstanding contributions to the industry and communities they represent.  More information is available at www.missourirentaldealers.org

About Four State Christian Home Schoolers Association

The Four State Home Schoolers began as an informal group of parents sharing teaching resources and concepts over 20 years ago.  To date, over 2000 students have graduated under the program, which now operates from multiple locations in the Joplin area.  Fifty students are currently enrolled in the program at the Joplin Family Worship Center branch, under the oversight of the Four State Christian School.

About the ITDRC

The Information Technology Disaster Resource Center, Inc is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity comprised of IT Professionals; organized in 2009 to provide technology continuity and recovery assistance to communities and small businesses affected by disaster. Services are provided at no cost by a volunteer team of service oriented professionals with resources and experience in most technology disciplines.  More information on the ITDRC is available at www.itdrc.org