JACKSONVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) — Kids in Jacksonville are getting a big surprise at their after-school programs after a big donation from a local business.
Both the Boys and Girls Club and the Martin Street Youth Center received a 3-D printer each. The Game Store owner Brian Blevins purchased the printers himself.
"I love Jacksonville. I wanted to do something for the kids of Jacksonville,” Blevins said. "Most of the time, these kids don't have access to these kinds of items."
The printers come from a company in northwest Arkansas after Blevins was able to work out a good deal with them. Blevins delivered the printers on Tuesday.
"I just feel that [the clubs] need it. I feel that they are already working to try and give these kids new technology, access to things they don't have,” he said.
Blevins said he felt the 3-D printers can allow kids to make things like phone cases and game pieces.
"This is just another tool they can use to further their education outside of school,” Blevins said. “It uses plastic filament and it prints to create an actual tangible 3-D item.”
Boys and Girls Club director Laconda Watson says this donation is a big surprise to the club.
"For them, technology is where the future is,” Watson said. "I think having a 3-D printer will not only tap into their knowledge base but also help them be creative."
Barbie Mellinger with the Boys and Girls Club agreed. She said this is one of the most exciting donations the club has ever received.
"Not many people have them and it's something I know these kids are going to be very excited about getting,” Mellinger said.
The printer can be used on any computer the club already owns.
"Luckily a state of the art computer wasn't necessary for them to be able to use these,” Blevins said.
Blevins said the price of the 3-D printer is small in comparison to the big impact it will make on hundreds of kids.
"Hopefully this means that they'll actually look at this stuff and see this isn't a hammy down. It's not something that's used. It's something just for them,” Blevins said.
The company who makes the printers will soon make a trip to Jacksonville to get the printers set up for the youth clubs.