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FreeGeek Launches “Technology Now” Campaign

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About the Technology Now Campaign:

The digital divide has always been a serious problem, but in the era of COVID-19 it’s dire. Free Geek has been on the front lines of bridging the digital divide and right now the demand for our low to no cost computers is higher than ever in our history.  Hundreds of thousands in our community are not connected to the internet or need a device to access it. Seniors need vital access to their doctors through telehealth appointments, workers need access to devices to continue their work from home and students need access to machines so that they complete their school work. 

Free Geek has been working around the clock to fulfill requests for technology from at-risk members of our community. Thanks to companies like Intel we have been putting computers in the hands of more people than ever before, but we are now getting dangerously low in inventory. Students, seniors, and workers need laptops to stay home and still participate in society. At the current demand level, Free Geek will be completely out of laptops in less than 2 weeks.  

Together we can solve this problem. Free Geek and Intel developed a safe program to allow Intel employees to donate computers.  It was a huge success and Free Geek was able to collect over 500 usable systems that will be returned to the community. Many people are moving past the shock of the pandemic now and want to find a way to help; this is a real tangible way that you can help your community. 

If you are interested in putting a program like this together, please email john.ashcraft@freegeek.org and they will work with you or your team to set up a technology donation program that works specifically for you.

About Free Geek:

Free Geek’s mission is to sustainably reuse technology, enable digital access and provide education to create a community that empowers people to realize their potential.  They have been an active community member bridging the digital divide for 20 years.

A houseless mother of 3 in her own words:

“My name is Kimberly, and I found you guys online in search of a laptop for schooling. I’m 31 years old, I have 3 beautiful children, an adorable puppy, and my love (who is battling for disability) to support, and I’m trying to go back to school to show those kiddos that nothing is impossible. I’ll be going for a data science certificate, working with AI doing things that tickle my nerd fancy (I love working with tech, I used to work on bitcoin miners at a data mining facility in the dalles, that was wicked awesome.) But unfortunately, I can’t start the schooling program I’m enrolling in until I have a computer, and I’m too young to settle for a job at a doughnut shop until… what? I can’t retire from that at this point, it is a special dead-end feeling. 

My issue is that I am breathtakingly broke providing for my family on what little I make here and there. I’m ready to set my sights on accomplishing a career path. I am extremely limited in my resources, as times are very tough and we had to move into our van about 2 months ago. 

I don’t have anywhere to put a desktop, so I’m in desperate need of a laptop specifically; one that can keep up with all my coding projects (I’m very resourceful in the technology department, I use my phone for a wifi hotspot when I’m not near any free wifi, so I’ll have no issues finding that for schooling or work). But nothing insanely fancy. I’ve scoured craigslist in my area, as well as the Facebook marketplace to hit a lot of metaphorical walls. Specifically financial walls. I simply do not have the money, but owning a laptop, which I haven’t owned in years, would turn our lives around at this point. I receive SNAP, and I’m so sick of spending that precious food money on water bottles to turn into fuel money just to make it to interviews and check-ins at the temp agency, etc. I’m exhausted, this would be my big break in life.”

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