TULSA — Glenn DeWeese won't be there Friday when his organization donates more than 80 refurbished computers to at-risk children. He won't be there to watch their faces light up as they rip the Christmas wrapping from their very own computer, and he won't be there to see parents who could not afford such a gift, mouth an inaudible "thank you” as they wipe beneath their eyes.
He won't be there, but his presence will be felt for years.
DeWeese, a 58-year-old retired Tulsa police officer, died suddenly and unexpectedly Saturday as the nonprofit organization he founded, PC Power, made final preparations to deliver Christmas computers during the fifth annual North Pole Computer Project.
Family members, Tulsa police officials and PC Power supporters met Monday to try to figure out the future of the project started by DeWeese before he left the force.
From trash to treasure
The idea for PC Power was born in October 2003, when DeWeese was helping his grandson with some homework.
The homework assignment required an Internet search.
But long after the simple search was finished, and the homework was done, the assignment continued to bother DeWeese. He had a computer and knew enough about computers to help his grandson. But what about those families who couldn't afford a family computer? How did those children do their homework assignment?
It didn't take him long to realize that things don't get any better by wondering about them. So he decided to go to work, with a goal of rebuilding 10 discarded computers before Christmas and delivering them to families in need.
That's where his supervisor, Capt. Karen Ford, came in.
"This was something Glenn was doing in preparation for his retirement,” Ford said. "He worked for me at that time, and I thought it was a great idea, and I knew I would try to give him all the support I could.”
Christmases past and present
With the help of dozens of friends, family and volunteers who believed in his dream, PC Power was able to complete 38 computers that first Christmas. In just three months, they nearly quadrupled DeWeese's original goal.