Recycle your old computers and help out Oakland’s kids
We often need to help clients get rid of older computer equipment that has piled up over the years. One great solution to this is a non-profit called OTX West (see contact info below). They refurbish used computer equipment and make it available to the Oakland Unified School District and the families of students. For corporate donors with 15 or more machines, they will even pick up the donations free of charge. This is a tax deductible donation.
I talked with the founder of OTX West, Bruce Buckelew, a couple of months ago while dropping off some stuff. I was impressed by his ingenuity and his compassion. He pointed out that it’s a good life lesson for kids to learn that you don’t need the latest and greatest model of computer to do a lot of useful activities. Most of the machines OTX West hands out are Pentium III’s & IV’s. But he has refurbished old Pentium I laptops so that they can surf the web and even handle streaming video. (Apparently the audio stream is unaffected, but the images form a sort of slideshow effect that he claims is very watchable.)
I love the idea of extracting value from seemingly useless items and helping narrow the digital divide at the same time.