Doing Our Part to Help People Cross the Digital Divide

Many people enter bike-a-thons or help kids sell wrapping paper or Girl Scout cookies to raise funds for various not-for-profit organizations. At Maverick Solutions, we enjoy helping people cross over to our side of the “digital divide.” A few times each year, we collect and deliver old computers to an organization that refurbishes them, teaches people from lower-income neighborhoods how to use them, and then gives the computers to those people.

The recipient organization is Friends of Tech International charter school (FOTI), and they’re a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. They accept donations of old computers as long as they have a CD or DVD drive, and they’re willing to accept both Macs and PCs. They also accept LCD monitors, but not old CRT monitors. Mice and keyboards are also good, but they don’t want printers. I’ve never asked, but I suspect they’d also accept donations of Windows licenses.

Our next delivery date will be July 16th, so we’ll be collecting donations at the end of this week, starting the 11th. We are just the facilitators; you will receive the donation receipt for your contribution – our donation is our time and effort to collect them and our gas to deliver them. Unfortunately, we can’t accept donations before the 11th, as we have nowhere to store them.

eMail us to arrange to get your donations to us, or comment on our Facebook event,!/events/320561248034188/. We can probably pick them up from you in Manhattan, the Bronx, or Westchester that Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. It would be helpful if you’d also prepare a list of the items you’re donating, with your name and email address, for the tax receipt.  Feel free to “Like” or “Share” our Facebook event, too, if you know other people who might like to make donations.

Thanks for your help supporting our charitable cause!

To head-off the most frequent question we get, “will you erase my old data?” let us answer thusly: there are various standards for data deletion, the simplest being to simply delete the files and empty the recycle bin. Reformatting is more secure. The Dept of Defense doesn’t consider even that secure enough because the data can still be recovered by extraordinary means, so they insist on wiping and overwriting data several times. You have to decide what constitutes “enough” deletion for you. If we had to DOD-wipe every donated PC, it would be a time-consuming proposition for us. You can either trust that FOTI will overwrite your data when they reformat your computer, or delete it yourself before you donate it; if neither of those are sufficient, we’d be happy to help professionally remove your data at 50% of our hourly rate. Since this will take time, if you want to go this route, talk to us before the 11th.

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