Blog Action Day 2008: Get Involved, Just not with Computers for Youth


Today is Blog Action Day, and no, unfortunately, that’s not a euphamism.  No bloggers are getting any special ass of any sort today because they are blogging.

What it does mean is that people who have a blogs, and who may have the ears of a few readers should take action and lay out a plan to make a difference.  This year’s agenda is poverty.

I saw a great post over at Lifehacker by Kevin Purdy about a local charity he’s beginning to get behind that allows you to donate your old hardware.  Parts that you may not find particularly valuable anymore but that could well become a valuable part of supplying a computer to some needy children.

Some of the systems that end up at Computers for Children (CFC) come from bulk upgrades at corporate or governmental entities, but personal donations can be crucial in filling in the gaps. An IT department might, for example, yank the hard drives from an entire fleet of beige desktop boxes for security or salvage purposes, leaving them mostly useless for renovation purposes. Personal donations also bring in the more unique consumer-oriented hardware that can be put to use in creating group servers, teaching children how to use digital cameras, and filling out otherwise perfectly good systems missing one crucial part.

Sound pretty awesome right?  Well, I did some searching to try and find something like that around NYC and came up with CFY or Computers for Youth.  Fantastic!  I have plenty of RAM and hard drives lying around in perfectly good condtion that could be being used by some poor, unfortunate youth that wants access to more MySpace and Miley Cyrus in his/her life.  My hopes of philanthropy were quickly dashed however after perusing the website for just a few minutes.

Rather than the cool Computers for Children program Kevin was now earning good karma with, CFY has a much different list of donations you can make.

  1. Contributions by Check
  2. Donations by Credit Card
  3. Stock Transfers
  4. And if you don’t want to be bothered with any of this while you’re alive you can contact them for help with estate planning or making a contribution in memory or in honor of someone.

Good luck donating an entire computer, let alone computer parts. “CFY only accepts donations of 30 or more computers at a time.”  And not just any 30 computers, according the website you’ll need to meet their specifications.  Intel Pentium 4, Celeron, Duo Core, Centrino and AMD Processors (1.4GHz or higher).  I know people that work for large corporations that have work computers that don’t match those specs.

So if you’re a huge corporation tossing out P4 machines with core duo processors and want to help out then CFY is for you.  If you’re just a normal person looking to help out then you’re probably better off finding a decent recycling program in your community.  CFY isn’t interested in your crap.

Hopefully I can do some more research and come up with another worthwhile charity that deal with poverty, I’m sure there are many.  If you have any suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments and maybe you too can make a difference.

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