Getting Results Award winner: Founder of Computers Advancing Education

Brevard County charity has given away 31,000 computers to needy students

Titusville, FLA. – A look inside the lab at Computers Advancing Education in Titusville can be overwhelming.

The nonprofit recycles donated computers, giving them away for free to needy students.

Tucked inside the former Whispering Hills Elementary School cafeteria, volunteers repair, dismantle and rebuild laptop and desktop computers.

Monitors, hard drives and keyboards line the walls and work benches, covering nearly every inch of space.

"It's controlled chaos. That's what I call it," says founder Fremont "Freebie' Bassett.

Bassett took News 6 on a tour of the facility. "There are 28 processing tables," he says as he points across the room. "They pull it, they rebuild it, they trouble shoot it."

In 1997, after suffering a heart attack, Freebie's son suggested the two of them  rebuild a computer together. It was a way to stay busy.

"My oldest son John said dad, you look bored. You need something to do. And I said okay what do we do?"

They rebuilt that first computer on their kitchen table, giving it to a kid who's dad was overseas. The boy used it to keep in touch with his father. 

Since then the non-profit has grown, first moving into his garage then to a building at KSC. The 501(c)3 now occupies three buildings in its current location.

To date Freebie says they have given given away more than 31,000 computers to students around the globe.

The computers are donated from a variety of sources, including local space related companies upgrading their hardware, smaller companies and individuals. 

"Yea, I started it," Bassett says. "But this organization wouldn't exist if it weren't for all these wonderful people."

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About the Author:

Paul is a Florida native who graduated from the University of Central Florida. As a multimedia journalist, Paul enjoys profiling the people and places that make Central Florida unique.