PEARLINGTON (WLOX) -- Arline Hale was the first person to log on at the new Paltering Computer Lab built by AOL. The 84-year-old Hancock County woman said she had never before touched a computer or searched the internet.
"Oh, it's amazing I can see so many things I can do on here. You can get any subject you want," Hale said.
AOL spent $150,000 on the state of the art computer lab, which is the brainchild of AOL employee Glenn Went. Went came to South Mississippi shortly after Katrina in 2005 with relief supplies.
Went said, "I said, 'what else can we do?' Something that is lasting. They said the community could use some computers. Out of that, came the whole idea of getting a computer lab and just bringing that to AOL and AOL believing in it."
Earlier this week, nine AOL employees from the company's Virginia headquarters put together the computers.
The Paltering Computer Lab is located on the grounds of the Pearlington Recovery Center.
Recovery Center Director Larry Randall told us, "Whenever you see corporate America come together to help small communities there's no words to show the gratitude."
At the grand opening he told the AOL team, he's "Deeply grateful, and thank you. We needed this bad."
The computer lab is open to all Hancock County residents without charge and will offer after school tutoring for students and computer training for senior citizens.