CLEVELAND, Ohio — An Ohio nonprofit is recycling technology to make sure everyone has access to it during a time when most of us are stuck at home.
- PCs for People is a nonprofit that provides computers and internet technology to those who may have trouble affording it
- On a normal week the company gives out about between 50 to 75 computers per week, but recently, it's been giving out about 500 a week
- PCs for People has multiple partnerships with corporations and nonprofits around Ohio to donate items to be recycled
At the PCs for People warehouse in Cleveland, Brain Mauk is the only one in the office today — but don’t let that fool you.
"We have school districts calling us, asking for thousands of computers, tens of thousands of computers. So the need is really there. And we’ve been really pumping up our distribution and redistributing capacity, our staff has been working double shifts," said Mauk, who is the company’s executive director.
He says the stay-at-home order and school closures have put a spotlight on the need for technology.
"The need has been there all along. In Cleveland, about 1 in 5 families don’t have a computer at home. And even more don’t have internet."
PCs for People is currently in need of donations of recycled computer items. It's in need of mice, keyboards, monitors and VGA cables.
"Just this past week, there was a lady who had pawned her mother’s wedding ring to be able to afford a computer, and fortunately we had grants and donations that we’re able to do some financial aid. Of course, we gave her her money back and said, ‘go back and get your ring’ but I think it’s truly sad and speaks volumes to the amount of steps people are under right now," said Mauk.
If you would like to make a donation, you can email email@example.com.
Mauk says donations aren't just helping students learn and families stay connected, but also helping people stay home and stay safe.
"It’s not only about helping people stay connected and finish their schoolwork, stay connected to family, but also helping people stay at home, right? The more that they can order online, get their news online, interact online, the more people are staying at home, the more we’re flattening that curve," Mauk said.