A Maine non-profit will take over a long-running Manchester-based program that recycles electronics and turns some into low-cost computers to help the underserved, and has hopes to expand the program here. “Philanthropic urban mining, that’s the best way I can describe it,” said Chris Martin, co-founder with partner Jodi Martin of GiveIT GetIT, a firm based in Waterville, Maine.
For more than a decade it has accepted old equipment from companies, refurbished what it can, given computers and systems to lower-income families, along with technology training and support, and resold the rest to pay for staff, buildings and transportation. What cannot be refurbished it recycles or disposes.
In New Hampshire, a similar non-profit operation was run for years by CTAC, or Computer Technology Assistance Corp., in Manchester, including a storefront operation that sold refurbished computers. But last April its founder and leader, Steve Bothwick, died, and the board of directors decided to wind up CTAC. “We would get truckloads of donations. One of the biggest donors was Southern NH University,” said Suzanne Daschbach, board member. “We wanted to expand, but didn’t really have the means to do it.”
“We’re delighted that Give IT Get IT has done this,” she said. Martin said companies donate items, often when they’re upgrading and need to get rid of old equipment, because it avoids the cost or effort of disposal. There may also be tax benefits.