One of the biggest sources of clutter in homes today is old office electronic equipment. Sometimes the item is broken and we don’t know if it can be fixed or where to properly donate it. More often it represents something we bought on a whim and really never used. Fortunately there are multiple ways to off load your electronic orphans and do good in the world in the process. Let’s consider a few of your options.
The National Christina Foundation is a nationwide group devoted to bringing computer literacy to disadvantage youth and those with disabilities. Here direct from their website is a summary of the program:
Founded in 1984, the National Cristina Foundation promotes the reuse of technology to enable people with disabilities, students at risk and economically disadvantaged persons to be given the opportunity, through training, to lead more independent and productive lives.
We encourage companies and individuals to donate computers and other technology coming out of their first place of use directly to pre-creened local partner groups registered in the Cristina Network. These partners are no- profit organizations, schools and public agencies in all 50 states, and Canada.
I invite you to learn more about this wonderful organization.
Computers4Kids is a non-profit after-school technology mentoring program for low-income youth. In addition to welcoming your computer related donations you have the opportunity to become a mentor in the program. (This is a local organization based in Virginia.) Check out the program at www.computers4kids.net or www.c4k.org for more details if you are willing to ship your goods to them. You might want to start something like this in your community.
World Computer Exchange seeks to help disadvantaged youth all over the world come into the 21st century. Contact them to see if there is a pick up/drop-off location in your city and to learn more about their global programs. Isn’t it exciting to imagine your old computer being refurbished and helping a young student in a place like Nepal, Haiti or Ghana move forward with his or her education? You can check them out at www.worldcomputerexchange.org.
You can of course give your equipment to a local charity like Goodwill. They will repair it if necessary and sell it in their stores.
Call you local school district and see if they accept donations for any of their classrooms. If you are part of a spiritual community you can call your local house of worship or the district headquarters and see if one of their offices needs an extra computer or printer.
If you decide to toss your equipment be sure you follow the guidelines established in your community. Call your trash service, the local city government or chamber of commerce. And no matter where your equipment is tossed or donated be sure you remove all personal data! You don’t want to unconsciously make an unwanted donation to an identity theft ring!
The Resource sections in all of the books in my One Year to … series are quite extensive. These tips came from The 8 Minute Organizer my new book that’s due out May 1, 2012. Next month I’m going to blog about those unusual items we no longer want but have no idea where to donate. You’d be surprised how much good you can do with items like old musical instruments, suitcases and costume jewelry!
‘The Zen Organizer’
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