After seeing this video last week of Iced-T destroying his his Mac Book Pro because the screen quite working, I thought I would give everyone some options to actually do something useful with their old or slightly broken computer equipment by donating it to help others.
If you have a computer that is less then five years old, chances are that it can be put to good use by someone else. Rather than donate equipment directly to a charity or school, however, it is usually best for all involved if you can send it to a refurbisher, especially if you need to wipe your hard drive or are uncertain about the computer’s condition. Refurbishers will ensure that equipment they send to nonprofits and schools works well and runs legal copies of software, and that any e-waste is disposed of properly. The best service I have found for donating your computer gear is TechSoup Stock. TechSoup Stock is an online product donation service that connects nonprofits with technology product donations from more than twenty-five leading corporate and nonprofit technology partners. TechSoup Stock is a nonprofit serving nonprofits. Their low fees have saved over 50,000 nonprofits approximately $400 million, a savings they can redirect into their programs. According to the EPA’s Plug in to eCycling program, only 15-20% of retired personal computers, TVs, cell phones and other electronic devices are being recycled in the United States. Every computer dumped into a landfill represents a missed opportunity to provide Information-Age tools to individuals and organizations in need of helping to bridge the digital gap. So before you go off and try to act like a bad ass because you can break a laptop with a hammer, I’d urge you to do some good, not just for the environment, but also for others in need.
In order to make computer donation and refurbishing less of a burden than gift for the non-profits, here are ten tips for donating your computer hardware:
- Determine if your old computer can actually be reused.
- Recycle hardware that is too old and/or broken.
- Contact the refurbisher or recycler before donating.
- Remember the accessories.
- If possible, keep the operating system intact.
- Provide the original software media and documentation if available.
- Use secure disk-cleaning software to clear your computer of personal information.
- Make sure and follow computer donation center’s delivery instructions.
- Keep a list of what you donated for your records.
- Plan for future donations.
I find it necessary in life for everyone to give of their time, money, or both. I don’t care of your religion, race, or income. It’s the duty of all human beings to do their part in making life better for the human race. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s very easy to let others slip out of your mind and pursue our own selfish goals. In fact, I haven’t done very much for others over the past year or so and am pretty disappointed in myself. That’s why I’d like to start a weekly segment called Movement. Each week I will spotlight non-profits throughout the world that are making amazing changes in other peoples lives. The point of this is to encourage you to do what you can for each movement. Whether it’s donations or purchases, volunteering or just spreading the word. Do what you can, as will I.
An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. – Martin Luther King Jr.
I thought that I’d start out this first week with something easy for everyone. TOMS Shoes was founded on a simple premise: With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. It doesn’t get much easier than purchasing something for yourself in order to give to someone else. I went with the Burlap Woven TOMS. Some of my other favorite designs that I’d recommend (for men) are the Rope Sole TOMS, Vegan Stitchout TOMS, and the Gabe Lacktman TOMS. Go find a pair of TOMS shoes that fit your style and help give to those in need!
Here the story of TOMS movement: In 2006 an American traveler, Blake Mycoskie, befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. Blake returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by caring TOMS customers.
Since our beginning, TOMS has given over 140,000* pairs of shoes to children in need through the One for One model. Because of your support, TOMS plans to give over 300,000 pairs of shoes to children in need around the world in 2009.
Our ongoing community events and Shoe Drop Tours allow TOMS supporters and enthusiasts to be part of our One for One movement. Join us.