When a business upgrades its information technology hardware, they usually pay a fee to recycle the technology. But with the help of the team at SOLVit Network Support, they can now donate pre-loved desktop computers and laptops rather than pay a $35 fee.
The SOLVit team will wipe the hard drives, install the latest Microsoft updates and software such as internet browsers and Adobe products, then pass them on for distribution through GIVIT ACT to Canberra-based families, non-profit organisations and individuals who can’t afford new technology.
“We partnered with GIVIT because kids were being homeschooled, people were working from home, and there’s families with no computers,” says SOLVit managing director Damien Samios. “From our perspective, it was a way to give back to the community and show our appreciation for the businesses we work with.
“The idea came up when my wife and I were talking about the work she does with [Canberra women’s support organisation] Karinya House.
“One of our clients was doing some work with GIVIT. We get a lot of old computers when people upgrade so we reached out to GIVIT and partnered with them to supply refurbished desktop and laptop computers.
“We do a special format to delete all information off the machine and reinstall it from scratch back to factory standard, and then load it with all the software a person might need.”
The computers are then taken to GIVIT – which has a list of non-profits and people who have registered for technology support – and distributed.
“We’ve refurbished around 75 computers so far this year,” says Damien. “GIVIT then distributes them to people who need them.
“The partnership doesn’t have an end date; we just agreed we’d donate the machines we could to GIVIT ACT when we can.”
GIVIT supports more than 300 charities and community organisations across the capital region by giving them an online platform to request essential, quality items on behalf of their clients, and matches requests with items donated by members of the public.
GIVIT matches requests with items donated by members of the public, ensuring Canberra’s most vulnerable residents can stay connected.
“2020 has brought about significant challenges for the Canberra community, from bushfires to severe weather events and the impact of COVID-19,” says GIVIT ACT engagement coordinator Kristi Clark. “But 2020 has also shone a light on how supportive, uplifting and hardworking our community is to make sure no-one is left behind in a crisis.
“We urgently need more computers – desktops or laptops – for families and individuals struggling at this time. For many, this is the only way they can study, stay connected with their support services, remain employed, or seek new employment opportunities.”
If you have pre-loved, good quality IT equipment, including computers, monitors, keyboards, mouse devices, laptops, tablets and mobile phones, you can donate via the GIVIT ACT website.