A Child's Exposure to Technology Should Never Be
  Predicated On The Ability To Afford It

Our Mission

  • Technology

    The child destined to invent the next version of the internet could be without a computer right now. We need to change that.

  • Freedom

    Users of all ages should be free to use their software and hardware in any manner they deem necessary

  • Education

    We not only give these children computers, we teach them how to use them to build their futures.

Why the HeliOS Project ?

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    Bridging the Digital Divide

    According to our estimates and those of the Austin Independent School District, there are over 5000 Austin students who cannot afford a computer or Internet access. The HeliOS Project wants to reduce that number by as much as we can. Since 2005 we have provided 1102 disadvantaged Austin-area kids and their families a computer. These kids cannot grow and compete with their peers unless they have a computer and The HeliOS Project focuses on giving these kids the tools they need.

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    Community Involvement

    We have also built computer and technology learning centers in and around East Austin. One of our biggest is the Bruno Knaapen Technology Learning Center based in the Cristo Rey Catholic Church on East Second Street. This lab serves the local community and we are privileged to offer weekly classes at that center to teach people how to use a computer and how best to use the Internet for job searches and communicating with their families.

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    Social and Environmental Responsibility

    Many of the best computers we've refurbished have come from a curbside trash pickup. The sins were twofold in that these were perfectly usable machines and we fixed them and gave them to kids that were in need. These machines would have ended up in a landfill somewhere, polluting the ground water with lead, zinc and other toxins. The HeliOS Project not only practices responsible E-waste, by refurbishing donated machines to disadvantaged kids, we assure they stay out of the scrap heap for another 3-5 years

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    Your Data is Safe

    Many of our donors give us computers that still have their personal data on them. The HeliOS Project values your data just as much as you do and we work to Department of Defense standards to wipe your hard drives to insure no one can recover it. (well maybe to the exclusion of the NSA). We use a software program called DBAN (BWG) to scrub the information from your drives. Of course, should you deem it necessary, we will gladly accept your computer after you remove the hard drive and we will replace it with one of our own.

Bits & Bytes

  • Vehicle Down

    January 2012

    Due to our vehicle being down, we are unable to fulfill pending computer installs for the next week or so. Please bear with us as we sort this out.

  • Community Service Award

    March 2010

    In recognition for his extensive work with children in the Austin Community, Ken Starks has been presented the Dewey Winburne Award for community excellence. You can read the official announcement at the SXSW site.

Recent Testimonial

  • Ken,
    We all wanted to let you know how much we appreciate what you do, not just for us, but for all the kids in Austin who need it. Simon and Sawyer love their computer you set up for us... they're having fun and learning at the same time. I am so grateful that their educational playing field has been leveled and that they are no longer in danger of falling behind due to a lack of technology and resource. You brought something to them that every child should have available to them, but unfortunately aren't always able to get no matter how hard their parents work. People like you are so special, and we're glad to have met you and had our lives touched by your generosity. Your dedication and hard work, coming over and giving your time to set everything up, help us with the system and to teach us new things, it's a rare thing. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
    Janna, Brad, Simon, & Sawyer