2018 was a big year for Kramden with more than 3,400 volunteers logging over 13,500 hours! This year, one of our top volunteers, Keith Ertel, has been selected as Kramden’s Geek of the Year. Keith contributed over 230 volunteer hours in 2018, bringing his total time at Kramden to over 600 hours!
We checked in with our Geek of the Year (and former Geek of the Week) to find out some of Keith’s favorite things about Kramden.
As one of our top volunteers in 2018, what was your favorite project or event you helped out with this year?
My favorite project was any one that involved a “Your update is downloading, please wait a few minutes” message and a spinning hourglass on the screen. Seriously, I have enjoyed all the activities I participated in this year. Working on-site gave me a chance to interact with some great people and learn new things, as did the offsite events. And helping out at the recycling events showed me I am not the only one who is reluctant to part with older technology.
You’ve been volunteering with Kramden for over 3 years now. What keeps you coming back?
I’ve been blessed throughout my life and I believe trying to give something back is important. Why Kramden? I like the fact that the mission is focused is on helping young people/students. They benefit, and technology that is still useful is kept out of the landfill. Another important consideration is the people. The staff is great, as are the many volunteers I’ve worked with. I like the spirit of camaraderie. And I like the nature of the work. I spent many an hour typing ‘peek’ and ‘poke’ statements to transcribe programs from a magazine onto my Commodore 64, and I’ve built most of the computers I’ve owned since then. Volunteering at Kramden helps me keep my inner geek alive.
A great big thanks to Keith and to all of the Kramden volunteers of 2018! Your work brings us one step closer to bridging the digital divide.