NAPANEE, ONT -- Learning online has become the “new normal” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Napanee man is trying to make it easier for students to learn comfortably, by refurbishing old laptops.

“It’s theirs, it’s a piece of their own education, they can learn better because they don’t have to fight for the use of it,” explains David Alford.

Alford says he realized it can be a luxury to some parents to give their kids computers so they can take their new online classes, after speaking with one of his kids teachers.

“She said well there’s quite a few kids who don’t have the technology,” Alford explains. “It got me thinking that I’ve got spare laptops kicking around that I don’t need, maybe I can do something with them to help out in the community.”

Extra laptops kept arriving when people started to catch wind of what he was doing for the community.

In the past week and a half, Alford has received approximately 35 donated laptops, and given out about 20.

The transition to online has been quick, and hasn’t been easy for some.

Joshua Arson has three kids at home, all under the age of 10.

“All our kids are different ages, different grades, they all have different stuff to do, so you almost have to have a different device for each kid,” he explains.

They now have two extra laptops for their kids to use thanks to Alford’s efforts. One that Alford refurbished for them, and a second small laptop that Arson says his 10-year old step-daughter will benefit from as she moves from her mom’s house to her dad’s house.

“It meant the world, because I couldn’t financially find someone to do it, I couldn’t even find someone to do it at all. And this just pops up, literally on our news feed and it’s a godsend,” Arson said.

About 40 laptops have been donated by the community.

Alford says he takes any part that people are willing to offer, from power cords, to a mouse, to a laptop or a tablet, and builds the device from those parts.

He says he’ll continue to fix them the computers, creating a Go Fund Me page for people to donate. Any extra money at the end will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters and other charities.

“Everybody’s gotta learn, and in this situation were in right now its different for everybody, and we’ve still gotta learn,” Alford says. “(Kids have) got to better themselves, just because the world’s stopped, the world doesn’t stop.”