Youths who lost homes in California wildfires given iPods donated by Apple

“More than 100 high school students in the Poway school district [northern San Diego County, California] who lost homes in the October wildfires have received a surprise gift – iPods donated by Apple,” Michael Burge and Blanca Gonzalez report for The San Diego Union-Tribune.

“Kari Afshari, 15, a sophomore at Rancho Bernardo High, said she was told last week to drop by a classroom for pizza and was surprised when she and fellow students were handed nano video iPods,” Burge and Gonzalez report. “Bill Chiment, a Poway Unified associate superintendent, said Apple Inc. donated the iPods.”

“The company indicated it intended to put an iPod in the hands of every high school student in the county who lost a home in the fires, said Poway resident Steve Boyack, who asked Apple for the donation,” Burge and Gonzalez report. “Boyack is the husband of Poway City Councilwoman Merrilee Boyack, and the Boyack family is involved in fire relief efforts through the San Diego Community Fire Relief Team, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

“He said there were toy drives for youngsters, tool drives for fathers, and holiday drives for mothers. ‘It seemed like the high school kids were being left out,’ Boyack said. ‘Having four boys, I thought what would be nice for the kids, and I thought iPods are an accessory most kids like and can’t live without,'” Burge and Gonzalez report. “So he e-mailed Steve Jobs, CEO and co-founder of Apple,” Burge and Gonzalez report.

Boyack said he didn’t hear back from Jobs, but was instead contacted by Michael Foulkes, Apple’s senior manager for state and local government affairs, who wanted the program to go countywide and “said Apple officials didn’t want any publicity,” Burge and Gonzalez report. “‘It was strictly from the heart and just wanting to help,’ Boyack said.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Feed Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. According to Apple, “‘It was strictly from the heart and just wanting to help,’.

    People need to respect that fact and NOT turn it into a PR issue.

    Those that lost their homes are truly grieving from a tragic loss of stability in their lives and Apple was attempting in a very small manner to ease the pain.


  2. They came pre-loaded with:

    Light My Fire – The Doors
    Fire – Jimi Hendrix
    Smoke on the Water – Deep Purple
    Burning Down the House – Talking Heads
    The Heat is On – Glenn Frey
    The Flame – Cheap Trick

  3. The comments that people left on the actual article are pretty lame… If there is no publicity, they aren’t doing it for a PR stunt or anything… It’s awesome.

    Teens love iPods, there is no doubt about that.

    One thing though, I bet when they had that ten minutes to grab their valuables and get out of there, Mom grabbed the pictures, Dad grabbed his beer, and little Johnny grabbed his friggin’ iPod.

    Now the teens have two iPods.

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