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05 July 2008 @ 12:26 pm
The Laptop Thefts at Clarion West  
As I'm sure many of you have heard already, someone broke into the house our students are living in and stole four laptops and some personal effects while the students were in class downstairs. I feel terrible for them--some lost work, some lost family photos, some have had to go online and change passwords, etc. It has been a harrowing experience for them--more than just annoying, because a laptop while you're at the workshop is almost a important as a hand. Not only do you write on it and use it to mail your story to Kinko's, but it's also your lifeline to home and your personal support network.

The students are all upset, of course, but trying hard not to let it ruin their time at the workshop, and the community, especially here, is rallying around them with loaners and someone has offered some office supplies, and others have started sending donations to start a replacement fund.

This has really restored my faith in humanity.

If you have an idea about how to help and want to contact us about this, the email is info @ clarionwest . org, and if you want to donate, you can use the paypal button on our site at http://clarionwest.org/donate. Please say it's for computer replacement so we can keep the funds separate from our organizational fundraising.

If you want to mail a donation in, our address is on that page, too, and again, please include a note to be clear that the money is for the computer replacement fund.

Thanks, everyone, for doing what you can, whether you've helped spread the word, are watching ebay and craigslist and all to see if we can catch the perpetrators, provided a loaner, or made a donation. The way the community is rallying around has really helped the students feel that they're not alone in this. The support means a lot: to them, and to Clarion West (and to me!)
Carlcarl_allery on July 5th, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC)
Neile, having had a laptop stolen I have some idea of what they're going through. I recall my first thought being when had I last backed up my writing - but I was fortunately not writing much and had copied it all to the PC. I can't imagine what it would have been like to have this happen at the workshop and to lose a story I was working on. I've sent a donation and blogged the link on my LJ and I wish I could do more, but please let the students know that we're all thinking of them - and writing really gory death scenes for laptop-stealing criminals into their stories is encouraged as a class theme!
Sherwood Smithsartorias on July 6th, 2008 02:11 am (UTC)
That's just extraordinarily sickening. I hope by now that people have rallied to the cause, and the writers have access to computers by now.

And that the thieves eventually get caught.