Thank You, Free Geek!
What do e-waste and the Digital Divide have in common? Free Geek!
Free Geek is a nonprofit organization that has a goal of addressing both of these issues through the reuse and recycling of donated tech. A Family for Every Child has been a recipient of their technology donations, and we would like to thank them for their generosity.
What is Free Geek?
Based in Portland, Free Geek is a nonprofit that refurbishes and recycles donated tech equipment. A lot of people don’t have access to the technology that they need to be able to apply for jobs, communicate with others, do their homework, perform research, and more! Free Geek is able to give these people the digital resources they need for free or for a very low cost because of the way they reuse donated technology. For tech that can’t be reused, Free Geek properly recycles it in order to help manage the abundance of e-waste.
How does Free Geek deal with the technology?
Free Geek follows a process to deal with the tech donations that they receive. First, people donate tech items to them through mail, appointment, or drop-offs. Then, Free Geek volunteers provide data security for the hard drives by deleting data and cleaning the hard drives. Then the tech is either reused or recycled. Free Geek is able to recycle items that other places can’t deal with by taking them apart and dealing with the electronic parts and metals properly and responsibly. The items that are refurbished and reused are given out to people and organizations through their programs: Plug Into Portland, Affordable Tech Program, and Grants. They also sell these refurbished tech items on eBay.
How have they helped AFFEC?
Free Geek has generously donated several thousand dollars’ worth of tech equipment to AFFEC over the past five years or so. Some of these things include desktop computers, desktop monitors, mice and keyboards, microphones, headsets, headphones, speakers, projectors, shredders, hard drives and flash drives, network equipment, webcams and more! These computers are used by AFFEC employees, interns, and volunteers for many purposes such as creating things like graphics, advertisements, brochures and pamphlets. AFFEC’s tech team uses these resources to develop software to streamline the adoption process and to help facilitate better matches between families and children. Projectors are used for host training nights for workers, and other networking and electrical equipment is used at AFFEC events.