Photo Credit: iStock/Filip_Krstic
Global electronic waste is a rising and multi-faceted problem, which grows complex by the minute. Statistics tell us that we generate about 50 million tons of e-waste every year. That’s akin to “throwing out 1000 laptops every single second”.
Laptops that an underserved child may be in dire need of.
As proven during the coronavirus pandemic, the digital divide between haves and have-nots is larger than ever. Before, computers may have played a supplementary role in one’s education. Following the pandemic lockdowns, they became essential. If you didn’t have an operating PC or laptop to attend online classes, your education simply ceased.
Faced with this troubling reality, a large number of local and global nonprofits sprung into action, and tech donations soared. Children in the developing world as well as the underserved children in the developed countries, were all able to get on with their online classes with the help of donated computers and laptops.
Now, at the end of 2022, the Covid-19 pandemic may seem like something of the past, but the need for tech donations is still very much there. WeForum reports that 33% of children in America belonging to lower income families do not have access to a family computer.
As November is celebrated as the children’s safety and protection month, it is important to realize that education plays a central role in ensuring a secure and thriving future for children.
With that in mind, we are dedicating this article to listing 5 nonprofits that are working for children and that could make good use of your donated old tech.
Before you pack up your old PCs or laptops and send them to your favorite charity, here are a few things to take care of first.
Save and backup all your data. On your cloud on separate hard drives, make sure all of your data, personal or work-related, is securely saved and can be accessed if needed. It includes software you may need on your new system, license key information, install files, login information such as passwords, and more. Keep in mind that cyber security is a huge problem already and irresponsible handling of e-waste only adds to it.
Delete all files on your system. After you have securely moved all your data from your old PC or laptop, delete every file from the system and factory reset it. Better yet, send it to an IT disposal service to make sure all of your drives are clean and no residual data remains to threaten your cyber security.
Now that your computer is ready to be shipped, here are 5 charities you could consider to ship it to.
Image Source: walkingshield
Walking Shield is a non-profit committed to improving the lives of American Indian families and childrens. The organization provides a comprehensive cover to these families and offers them assistance in many areas.
Some of these include:
It is located in Costa Mesa, CA, and accepts in-kind donations, too. To donate your electronics here, start by filling up their donation form available on the website.
Image Source: bridgingtech
While the rest of the non-profits included in this list were working long before the pandemic, Bridging Tech is one of many organizations that were launched specifically in response to Covid-19 crisis.
Set up by two Stanford students, Bridging Tech provides refurbished computers to children who have been displaced due to the pandemic and are suffering from lack of educational opportunities.
Since its launch in 2020, the small charity organization has delivered thousands (4,600 to be exact) laptops and computers to underserved children. And hopes to donate even more during the holiday season.
Image Source: phillykids
One of the many great local charities that have been working in the field of years. PFC, or Philadelphia Children’s Foundation, works closely with local public schools and equips them with ‘internet-ready’ laptops and PCs.
Among other initiatives, it also supports low-income families that do not have access to a family computer by giving them one. If you are looking to support local communities by also decreasing your share in the global e-waste catastrophe, PFC could use your support.
To donate your old tech devices to PFC, fill out their contact form. Sending donations is easy and contact-free plus you get a tax rebate.
Image Source: freegeek
Free Geek is probably one of the oldest nonprofits in this list. With more than 20 years of experience under its belt, the organization knows a thing or two about the digital divide and how to bridge it. That’s why it has been working passionately and steadfastly in its commitment to help children of America end generational cycles of inequality.
Free Geek serves the most vulnerable by giving them access to free or low-cost laptops and other electronic devices to aid their education, employment, and digital awareness.
To make your donation to Free Geek, hours are listed here. In addition to donating your personal laptops and computers, you could also donate your business’ old tech here when you upgrade your systems.
Image Source: labdoo
“Help spread education to every corner of the world”.
That’s the maxim Labdoo works with as it attempts to provide every student and child in the world with access to digital technology. It achieves that by equipping underprivileged schools with educational laptops. The laptops come loaded with the latest educational software which helps students stay afloat in a world where education is swiftly moving towards a digital landscape.
Labdoo is an international nonprofit and serves the global community. It has helped schools in India, Pakistan, Kenya, Israel, South Africa, Spain, and many other countries. Since it has a global footprint, it uses sustainable, eco-friendly transportation means to move donated tech from one place to another.
To date, Labdoo has empowered nearly 2,500 schools, delivered computers and laptops to more than 750,000 students, and saved the planet from more than 610,000kg of carbon emissions.
So, if you are looking for a nonprofit that’s helping the world by also helping the planet, Labdoo is one to think about.
Donating your old tech devices to charitable causes does a lot of good. It helps the planet, increases the life cycle of tech devices, decreases digital divide, improves communities, gives you tax breaks, and also makes you feel good.
What’s not to like, right?
So, the next time you are upgrading your laptop, mobile phone, or tablet, visit this post, and choose a charity that you’d like to support on your way to the Apple store.