Libertyville business hosts fundraiser to buy laptops for grads

Submitted by John Coxon
Posted11/18/2020 4:09 PM

Craftsman Café, a not-for-profit organization in Libertyville, recently launched a fundraiser in cooperation with Craftsman Media and other local businesses to provide new laptops for recent high school graduates.

The project has an initial goal to raise a minimum of $15,000, enough to purchase 20 or more laptops, computer bags and accessories for recently graduated, at-risk high school students needing access to technology to pursue employment and/or continuing education opportunities.


"The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of attention to the difficulties faced by students of all ages when it comes to remote learning," said Jim Connell, founder of Craftsman Café and owner of Craftsman Media.

"Fortunately, school districts have provided Chromebooks or similar technology to their current students. In the meantime, we have identified a huge gap among recent high school graduates, especially those in low income communities who do not have any access to the technology they need to pursue either higher education or to find a job.

"The situation is especially challenging because even public libraries are closed in many towns and villages, eliminating yet another source of technology access."

In order to assure the fundraiser yields the best results, Craftsman Café has created a practical way for recent graduates to qualify for one of the laptops.

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Each applicant is asked to submit a one-page essay identifying their two-year goals for school, training and life, including how they plan to use their new computer to further their goals.

In addition to the laptop, those selected must also attend a half-day training event featuring basic laptop training along with a motivational speaker to provide encouragement to the attendees.

Craftsman Café has already found support for the fundraiser from local businesses, such as Zengeler Cleaners and James W. Smith Printing. They are currently seeking contributions from other companies and organizations willing to support their cause.

Those interested should contact Jim Connell at (773) 220-3632. The fundraiser runs through early December, with the awarding of laptops and training session scheduled prior to Dec. 25.

For more information about this technology fundraiser, visit or contact Jim Connell at

For more information about Zengeler Cleaners, contact Tom Zengeler at (847) 272-6550, ext. 14, or visit

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