OUR GOAL: $15,000 


Due to the ongoing pandemic, and through volunteer work with young men in Zion by our board members (Jimmy grew up in Zion and his mother still lives there), we have identified a desperate need.

Many high school graduates and freshman college students do not have the tools they need to succeed. We have learned that several recent grads have been unable to get their college homework completed, and others have been unable to sign up for classes at College of Lake County due to the fact they do not have working computers. Community places such as libraries have been closed, have restricted hours, and/or are unable to assist these students through the process of signing up for classes, filling out FAFSA and other basic forms, or applying for jobs online.   

These types of road blocks for at-risk young men put them further and further behind their peers. 

Craftsman Cafe needs your help. We have been able to collect a few new computers, but the need is great, so we have set a goal to raise funds for 20 brand new laptops, backpacks & training ($15,000). Each student will be required to spend one day in a computer basics skill building workshop to earn their computer. They will also be required to write a one page paper outlining what their education goals are and how a new computer will enable them to succeed. 

We have identified students in need through our volunteer work in Zion, IL.



Q: How will participants earn laptops?

A: Each participant will apply and provide a one page essay to describe how they will use the laptop, and what their two year academic and work goals are. Also, they must complete training to earn their laptop. 


Q: Will you accept used computers? 

A: Unfortunately, no. We have already collected a few used computers and what often happens is they are outdated and the cost of updating them and refurbishing is too high and too time consuming for our volunteers. The cost of new laptops (thankfully) range widely. We can buy new laptops with all the necessary features at fairly low cost. We want to provide these students with the most current tools possible, so they are positioned for success. 


Q: What kind of computers will you be purchasing? 

A: We will purchase laptops in the range of $400-$550.  


Q: Can I purchase a new laptop and/or backpack and donate it? 

A: Yes! We simply ask that the laptop and/or backpack is delivered new, in its original packaging. We prefer laptops as opposed to Chrome Books. 

Q: Who will teach the computer basic skills class?

A: Jim Connell. We need a few more volunteers, please email us if interested. 

Q: Is my donation tax deductible?

A: Yes. Craftsman Cafe is a 501c3 non profit organization. 

Q: How much of my donation goes toward the purchase of computers?

A: 100%. Craftsman Cafe is run solely by volunteers at this time. 

Q: I have other questions, how can I reach you?

A: Simply send an email to us using our contact page. 

Q: Why laptops and not home PCs?

A: Many of the students we interviewed tell us they go to public places to get wi-fi access (or better wi-fi than they have at home). The need for mobility is important to this particular demographic. 



One-in-four lower-income teens don't have access to a home computer.*

The Covid pandemic has magnified this issue and created even more obstacles for students in America, especially those at risk. 

One of our ongoing goals at the Cafe is to create a second ViTALS College Conference for the students we are serving now with our computer fundraiser. Plans are in the works. If you are interested in serving as a mentor to these students, please drop us a line.

 Thank you. 

*Pew Research/2018