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How, Where and Why to Donate Your Computer…and Do It 100% Safely.

Seniors at a community center working on computers

Thousands of usable computers are tossed into Iandfills or closets every week. There’s a way to donate your computer without a trace of who owned it first.

How to Donate or Recycle your Computer Without a Worry

Your used computer is needed. Help someone out!

We donate clothes, home and office furniture, televisions, lamps, tools and other things we own to charities all the time. We like helping others and yet we often hesitate when it comes donating our personal computers, primarily for one reason: It’s because we have concerns about safety. There’s no need to worry, as long as you know there are ways to wipe all you data off a computer before donating it.

There’s no need to be not paranoid.

Most people who are concerned about identity theft shred their bank statements, credit statements, credit card offers and more. For the average person, it’s a smart habit because you don’t make it easy for private information to fall into the wrong hands. (Still, there are millions of people still don’t shred documents with private information on it!)

Now, consider your unused PC and realize you can “eliminate” the information on it. By following a few steps and processes, you could wipe your personal data off your computer’s hard drive, whether it’s an older mechanical hard drive or a solid-state drive.

Go here to learn how to wipe all your data from a PC or Mac. You can even pay someone to do it for you.

You can wipe the data off your PC.

Once you wipe your hard drive clean and donate it, the next person to use your donated computer will not see any evidence of old photos, documents, spreadsheets, etc.) that were once on your computer.

The files are gone. Not only are the name of the files gone but the files themselves have been obliterated.

For 99% of us, that’s more than enough peace of mind. That security is the equivalent of shredding your bank statements in a high-quality shredder.

After you wipe the hard drive, even if someone were to poke around for morsels of data, they won’t find anything.  Even someone with computer skills, wouldn’t waste time looking for information that “wasn’t there.” If there’s no data, they’re not going to waste their time.

It would be like a crook breaking into an empty house. They’re not going to waste time life when it looks like there’s nothing there. They want to hit pay dirt.

Your used computer is needed. Help someone out!

Why do so many working computers go to waste in closets, when they could be donated to charitable organizations?  Fear and worry. Fear that our computers will fall into the hands of someone who will unearth all our private data.

That concern might be valid for government officials, scientists, lawyers, reporters and researchers who have to be paranoid about their work.  Mostly, their worry is being hacked or having their laptop stolen. That’s not the same for most of us, who aren’t on thieves’ radar.

Sure, our computers have private information, however, we can delete it. All we need to do is take steps to save all the data off a computer, delete all the files and programs, wipe the hard drive clean. Once that’s done we can hand over our computer to a senior citizen, a Boy’s and Girl’s Club, a shelter for mom’s and kids, or a small-town library. And they would be very grateful for it.

Donate your computer to someone in need—around the corner or around the world.

Let’s get to the heart of the matter with these questions:

  1. Do you have a computer you’re not using anymore, set aside collecting dust?
  2. Are you thinking about replacing your personal desktop or laptop computer with a new one in the next few months?
  3. Do you work for a business that has stored old computers on a desk or in a cabinet that has probably forgotten about them?

There’s a good chance that right now, or in the not-too-distant future, you could have in your hands a fully donatable computer, free of all your private and personal information. Fact is, there are thousands of organizations and individuals across the country that need you to donate your computer

Most people who buy a computer every few years may not realize how many people don’t have the means to buy a computer (new or used) or where to find one for free.

(Imagine not having access to an email account or the internet, for shopping or catching up on the news. Or imagine your elderly parents or neighbors are in need of one.)

Finding organizations that want your used PC.

There are plenty of organizations that help people in need (kids, the homeless, expectant moms, seniors) with everything from clothes and temporary shelter, to access to computers.

Often those computers are used for learning and education more than anything else. These organizations need computers for those they serve, too—and those free devices aren’t always easy to come by.

If you think they get new computers donated all the time, you’re wrong. Often, organizations get cash donations and buying new computers is not likely.

Is there a computer to donate in your closet?

Then, with a few simple steps, prepare your computer for donation. Go here to learn how to wipe all your data from a PC or Mac.

National organizations.
Looking for national groups that are looking for used and/or refurbished computers through donations? Explore these options:

  • Donation Town
  • Computers With Causes
  • Goodwill Industries
  • Worldwide Computer Exchange
  • The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army does a lot more than ring bells on corners during the holiday season. They also often use donations to help fund programs for such as adult rehabilitation centers, as one example.

Small-town services.

Think about the local or regional groups of people, organizations and other needy causes.

  • Schools
  • Small museums
  • Libraries
  • Historical societies
  • Patient and family-support charities
  • Animal welfare organizations.

The cause of education.

  • Find out if there are public or even private K-12 schools that would like a donated PC that’s not too old. Schools might place it in a classroom, their library or even the faculty lounge.
  • Perhaps a community college, particularly if they have courses in computer technology or repair, would take a donated computer.
  • Quite likely, a vocational/trade school with an IT program would jump at the chance to acquire more “teaching” computers. And if that’s the case, you might find a home for your company’s used computers.

Senior centers.

Chances are most senior citizens are computer savvy or at least have good basic skills—after all, computers have been around for a while now.

However, not all seniors have access to working computers, especially if they’re living on a budget. And it’s doubtful many are replacing their old computers at home.

To fill that need, many community-based senior centers and even assisted-living facilities offer computer resources and even computer training for attendees. They will often have computer labs their guests can use to browse online, check email, and more. A free donated computer might be high on their wish list.

Not every kid has a computer.  

Not every child in school has access to their own computer. Youth clubs, such as the Boys and Girls Clubs, include access to computers as part of their youth programs. Their computer labs are vital for their after-school homework and tutoring programs or learning clubs.

Do a quick Google search to find out if there’s a such a club in your area that would love to have another working, ready-to-use computer.

Shelters for Adults and Families.

Many homeless people need shelter and a chance to get back on their feet. Abused women too, need a safe haven until they can manage to live safely on their own.

Shelters for the less fortunate often provide training or job-search. help for their residents. Organizations that help women and their kids need PCs for their residents. Women and men need computers to job hunt, improve their job skills, or create resumes and check emails. Computers at these shelters are not just helpful, they’re essential. 

It’s possible that a resident would also need their own computer once they left a shelter and moved into a safe place. A donated PC would go a long way toward changing lives for the better.

Changing the world.

Many times when there is a natural disaster, thousands of people are left suddenly with a home or are in dire need of help. Hurricanes, floods, fires and earthquakes can instantly displace thousands of families.

Fortunately, there are organizations that can jump into action to help, including the Red Cross, for example. They’ll ask for monetary donations and collect food and supplies for those in need. For a family or individual who has lost everything, a working computer would help them keep in touch with family and friends, follow the news, apply for aid and so much more.

It would easily be a lifeline to a better future.

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