Spring Clean Your Office for Good! {Give Back}

computer recycling

Do you have a husband like mine that holds on to every single piece of electronic or computer that has every walked into your house? Or  maybe you have an old one sitting around that you don’t know what to do with? I mean it shouldn’t go in a landfill right? 

United Way of Lake County (UWLC) is working to recycle computers for families who need them in Lake County.  UWLC, in conjunction with local partners, is repurposing used computers for Waukegan High School families enrolled in the Computer Learn and Earn initiative in order to close the ‘Digital Divide.’ 

“The Computer Learn and Earn is really serving a purpose,” said John Estal, retired Computer Refurbisher and volunteer.  “These families that don’t have a computer are totally handicapped.  In my trade, this is what’s called the ‘Digital Divide’ and this is a great way to put technology into the hands of the families that couldn’t otherwise afford it.” 

United Way is currently seeking donated computers and volunteers.  

To Donate:
Computer donations can be dropped off at:
  1. United Way’s offices on 330 South Greenleaf in Gurnee during business hours Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  For large donations of three or more computers, please contact Alicia (dot) Garcia (at) uwlakeco (dot) org or 847-775-1058.
  2. A computer donation drive will also be taking place at the first “green-certified” gas station in the country at Deerfield CITGO on 1460 Waukegan Road on Saturday, April 30th and Sunday, May 1st. Anyone that donates a computer during the CITGO drive will receive a free fountain drink.  Donation/tax forms will also be available.  Contact owner Dave Welsh at 847-561-6606 for drop off questions. 
Items needed include: 
  • laptops & towers (with Pentium 4 or newer processors preferred) 
  • keyboards
  • cables
  • printers
  • any computer hardware
  • flat screen monitors
  • laptop bags 
  • mice. 

All computers are wiped clean of personal information.  

Volunteers Needed:
Don’t have a computer but have computer skills? Volunteer Computer Refurbishers are also needed and can contact Alicia Garcia at Alicia (dot) Garcia (at) uwlakeco (dot) org for more information.   

More about the Program:

United Way of Lake County discovered through focus groups and research that many Waukegan families lack a home computer; others don’t have technological skills. Parents that participated in the Computer Learn and Earn classes now have both.  As an added bonus, their child now has access to an increasingly important homework tool.  “The participants are engaged, they ask questions, and they truly want to be involved in their child’s education,” said Alicia Garcia, Manager of the Computer Learn and Earn program.  

Computer Learn and Earn classes meet once a week for three weeks. Volunteers from Abbott Laboratories teach parents how to operate a computer and perform basic tasks. Then, parents are introduced to District 60’s Infinite Campus computerized records system, which allows parents to check their child’s attendance and academic performance online. In the final session, parents receive information they can use to help their children succeed in school and go on to college.  To date, over 75 computers have been given to Lake County families in need.  UWLC hopes to receive 200 computers through the computer donation drive at Deerfield’s CITGO gas station. 

Computers are donated by various companies and individuals, and are refurbished by Microsoft Registered Refurbisher volunteers. The computer packages include a monitor, keyboard, mouse and Microsoft Office software.  

To see an overview video and to learn more about the Computer Learn and Earn program, please visit the United Way of Lake County You Tube Channel or the Learn and Earn page. 

Image: Michelle Meiklejohn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About Melissa Haak 841 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

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