When Mike Monroe, a high school computer teacher in Rochester, N.Y., donated his first free computer to a student in 1997, he thought his small but effective program would continue helping students for years to come.
But the Home Computer Program, which has donated nearly 2,000 personal computers to students in the Rochester area, has fallen on hard times, because a sluggish economy has resulted in fewer computer donations from local companies.
“I used to have banks and colleges who would donate [used] computers every six months,” said Mr. Monroe, who now teaches at East High School in Rochester.
But when the economy soured, he said, the donations dried up.
Now, he gives out only a few computers a year.