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Turning trash into treasure: Nonprofit connecting others to necessary technology

Computers for Community refurbishes old computers and donates them to other nonprofit organizations.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — These days, technology is used for just about everything. Many people likely have several old devices laying around the house while others don’t have any access to computers.

A Charlotte non-profit is working to change that by taking old computers, refurbishing them, and donating them to groups that need the technology most.

It’s making a difference for other nonprofits in the region.

“Being enabled through technology is the difference maker for generations to come,” Andy Whiteside with Computers for Community said.

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Since last year, about 600 discarded computers have been collected by Whiteside and his team at Computers for Community. They secure and repurpose the devices and donate them to other organizations in need.

Organizations like the Ada Jenkins Center.

“We always do a dance when they say we’ve got some new ones,” Kateaka Brown with the center said.

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Computers for Communities was created to give back.

“Our mission is to serve other nonprofits and support their mission,” Whiteside said. “It’s 2023, technology plays a large role in every organization, every company, every nonprofit at this point. We know there’s an opportunity to help serve them so they can better serve their constituents.”

It’s served the students at the Ada Jenkins Center well. The center has gotten around 150 devices to help support academic programming.

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“The students are able to log in and take the assessments that we need to find and gauge where they are academically and then we can go in from there to help them bring their grade levels up,” Brown said.

Computers for Community works to not only bridge the digital divide but to provide a helping hand to the organizations already doing so much for our communities. It also responsibly recycles e-waste, keeping old devices out of landfills and taking the money earned from the precious metals included, and donating it right back to other non-profits.

Whitehead said the best thing those wanting to get involved and help can do is to go to the organizations and companies they work for and see if there are any old devices that can be donated in bulk.

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