Technology is everywhere, and whether we realize it or not, we often take it for granted. For those of us who haven’t been there, it’s hard to imagine the difficulty that poverty inflicts on a person’s life. We can all understand simple concepts like hunger and lack of basic necessities, but there are many more facets to poverty, subtle and insidious, which evade our collective awareness, and chip away at progress and opportunity.
One is lack of exposure, from a young age to modern technology. Since the 80’s, when Steve Jobs made a huge impact by donating computers to classrooms, to more recent integrations with laptops and tablets, we’ve seen time and again that access to technology supercharges the learning curve for children.
Nowadays, any properly funded school will have integrated technology into their classrooms, enabling children to absorb and master tech from a formative age, when the brain is much more plastic and primed for learning.
But just as important as access to computers in the classroom is access to computers at home. Many children who don’t have a computer at home fall behind on homework and can’t keep up with the curriculum as easily. This problem is worldwide, and it’s why a laptop is the best type of computer to donate.
Students without laptops at home cannot pull up a Wikipedia article to conduct research or use math software like WolframAlpha to solve equations. They may be pressured to do homework during school hours while unable to do anything at home. And they cannot socialize or participate in conversations online. And worst of all, they are denied the opportunity to improve their fundamental, general sense and way around a computer.
Lack of computers and technology is one of the many tragedies endured by disadvantaged kids. The digital divide, as it’s known, hinders these students’ academic performance as well as their future employability, and steals their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hypercharge their skills during the small window of time that defines their neuroplastic, formative years.
Businesses, Schools, and Individuals All Benefit by Donating Computers to Students
Besides being a noble and humanitarian thing to do, supporting our future generations by developing our kids’ academic skills and bolstering their self-worth, there are various benefits associated with donating.
The IRS allows tax write-offs for donating computers to not-for-profit organizations and school districts.
Launch Future Careers
Computers are a key to any tech career. The future job market specifically needs coders, so much so that tech moguls in Silicon Valley are planning against a human resource shortage. This corporate push to integrate computers and software into American schools is a lucrative market projected to reach $21 billion by 2020. Overall, there’s a need for tech-savvy graduates. As a result, companies are ‘programming’ their needs to feed this supply and demand.
Schools are thinking outside of the box to address the computer crisis as they’ve started to lease out computers to their students. Carrie Grant, a graduate of the Lammersville Unified School District in California said having a school-issued computer at home last summer simplified her workload. Without it, she wouldn’t have had a laptop and with it, she went to summer school and applied for scholarships. Grant is now choosing between colleges in Texas and Georgia.
The growing need for students to be proficient with computers heightens their ability to effectively enter the workforce. Therefore, it’s up to schools, big businesses and the donations of individuals to equip students with the computers at school and at home. When students work with a computer, they access not just its software, they embark on developing their skill set. This in turns advances their applicability.
In the spirit of being the change that we want to see in the world, we are calling our fellow citizens to refresh their level of awareness on this issue and periodically consider making donations. We’ve started by compiling a list of donation facilities here in California.
Computer Donation Facilities In California
To make the most out of donating a computer we suggest choosing a facility that specifically focuses on students. These centers provide students with the resources that allow them to thrive in the classroom.
Computers For Classrooms, Used computer store in Chico, California
Address: 411 Otterson Dr #100, Chico, CA 95928
Phone: (530) 895-4175
Notably, if and when a school has over 75% of its students qualify for free or a reduced-price lunch, then Computers for Classrooms allows any family at the school to get a computer system. In fact, the entire school qualifies.
Thursday: 9 AM–5 PM
Friday: 9 AM–5 PM
Monday: 9 AM–5 PM
Tuesday: 9 AM–5 PM
Wednesday: 9 AM–5 PM
Computers 4 Kids, Charity in West Sacramento, California
Address: 2455 W Capitol Ave #106, West Sacramento, CA 95691
Phone: (916) 572-1152
Computers 4 Kids is a non-profit organization which distributes refurbished computers to families in the Washington school district located in West Sacramento.
Thursday: 10 AM–6 PM
Friday: 10 AM–6 PM
Monday: 10 AM–6 PM
Tuesday: 10 AM–6 PM
Wednesday: 10 AM–6 PM
CRC Computer Repair Center
Address: 3227 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95407
Phone (San Francisco): (415) 643-6200
Phone (North Bay): (707) 570-1600
Phone (South Bay): (408) 327-1800
Toll-Free in California: 1-88-88-used PC
Providing refurbished computers to qualifying non-profit organizations and individuals through organizations, CRC refurbishes donations for students.
Drop off hours Mon-Fri, 9am-4PM
No Drop Off Saturday/Sunday
Address: Burlingame EcoCenter – 1831 Old Bayshore Highway, Suite 2, Burlingame, CA 94010
Phone: (650) 493-8700 x103
GreenCitizen bridges the digital divide between public school students and well-funded private schools. This program focuses on enabling public schools with limited budgets with refurbished computers.
Open Monday – Saturday, 10:00am – 6:00pm
Human-I-T Los Angeles Warehouse
Address: 4525 Sheila St, Commerce, CA 90040
Phone: (323) 375-9052
E-mail: [email protected]
Human-I-T helps unprivileged students by providing access to technology and limitless learning opportunities.
Hours: M-F 9:00am – 5:00pm
Computers 2 SD Kids, Recycling center in San Diego, California
Address: 8324 Miramar Mall, San Diego, CA 92121
Phone: (858) 635-5774
Regardless of their economic status, C2SDK supports the technological needs of San Diego students. Their goal is to enable computer literacy by providing equal access to technology for educational and occupational purposes.
Thursday: 9:30 AM–6 PM
Friday: 9:30 AM–6 PM
Monday: 9:30 AM–6 PM
Tuesday: 9:30 AM–6 PM
Wednesday: 9:30 AM–6 PM
Komputers 4 R Kids, Charity in Bellflower, California
Address: 17432 Bellflower Blvd, Bellflower, CA 90706
Phone: (562) 219-5485
Komputers 4 R Kids assists underprivileged students in achieving their educational goals by providing free or low-cost computers.
Thursday: 12–5 PM
Friday: 12–5 PM
Monday: 12–5 PM
Tuesday: 12–5 PM
Wednesday: 12–5 PM
Human-I-T Administrative HQ Office
Address: 130 Pine Ave, Suite 200, Long Beach, CA, 90802
Phone: (562) 259-7747 or Toll-Free Number: (888) 268-3921
With a facility in Los Angeles as well, Human-I-T provides unprivileged students with technology and learning opportunities.
Hours: M-F 9:00am – 5:00pm