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I am a mentor for a 17 year old girl who is currently enrolled at Durham Tech's Gateway to College Program. I am trying to find a computer for her to use at home to do her school work. She is from a very low income family, lives in Section 8 housing and has two profoundly hearing imparied parents. I am affiliated with several non profits but none of them provide computers for low income students. All of the groups that i have found on line donate computers to nonprofit groups or schools but not to individuals. Any ideas??? ThanksEmail: LNadler@nc.rr.com
Hi, Lisa, and welcome to TechSoup.
It is true that most of the resources on this site are for nonprofits and not individuals, However, I think if you can find a way to let your own community know of this need, you will quite easily find a computer. Maybe contact a few churches who can put the word out to members, or even ask at computer repair shops.
In my experience, there is a lot of good equipment out there floating around that gets thrown out or shelved, because the owners want a new system and don't know what to do with the good but older system. This summer, a group I work for wanted a computer and in a week I found two just by asking around a little. Maybe even on Craig's list there might be something available.
www.FundRaiserBasic.comVolunteer TechSoup Moderator
Everything Sasha said!
Post a status update on your Facebook page explaining what you are looking for and why, post to Craigslist, look through Freecycle.
What you end up with will probably come with an operating system already installed, but if it doesn't, Ubuntu is free.
For the office software (word processing, spread sheets, presentations, database) you can go with LibreOffice or OpenOffice, both free and both compatible with MS Word - or, if you end up with a Mac, NeoOffice. For web browsing - Firefox is free. And for email: Thunderbird is free.
-=-=-=-=-=- Jayne Cravens Author, The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
Hi, try the Computer Recycling Center. They're a nonprofit based in Santa Rosa and San Francisco, Calif but they have a cheap (some are free) computer donation program that includes shipping to other parts of the country. This would be a far more uptodate computer than most free donations you'd find on Craigslist would be. And it comes with tech support. PCs only though.
I have no affiliation with CRC except as a retail customer. But a friend raves about them in providing computers for disabled folks in our local community, including her adult daughter.
I should add that I actually don't know if they service people outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, despite the fact that they do shipping vs requiring local pickups. But it's worth a phone call to find out (unless you're local of course). If they don't, they may know of a similar organization in your area (which I see is Durham, NC, but I assume others reading this may be interested too).
Thanks, Cyndi. Nice resource.
You also might want to try your local Freecycle (freecycle.org) group.
Good suggestion, Diana. Do you have any personal experience using freecycle.org? We have a good and active local one where I live.
Yes, I do have experience with Freecycle. In fact, a friend of mine is the founder. As with Craig's list, you want to use reasonable precautions, but my experiences have all been positive.