PHILADELPHIA—The City of Philadelphia today announced PHLDonateTech, a City initiative calling on residents and businesses to donate, recycle, and provide computers to families and people in need across Philadelphia. The campaign requests donations of laptops and desktops in fair or good condition.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City has recognized that many families and residents need access to devices. As people stay home, individuals without access to devices lack the tools they need to get essential services, learn, work, and connect with families and friends.
To meet this need, the City is partnering with AT&T; Retrievr, an on-demand clothing and electronic recycling company; and several local refurbishers which include the Electronic Access Foundation (EAF), the NERDiT Foundation, and the Temple University Computer Recycling Center (CRC). These organizations have been helping communities recycle and refurbish equipment safely and securely during the pandemic and bring years of experience to this project.
“PHLDonateTech is part of the larger work that we are doing to close the digital divide in Philadelphia,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “This work must be collaborative. To increase digital equity for families across Philadelphia, we will need the help of residents and local organizations. If you have used laptops and computers, donate them through PHLDonateTech so we can work together as a city to help our families in need.”
Once devices are refurbished and ready to use, residents will receive the devices for free.
There are different ways to donate devices:
- Donating 25 or fewer devices:
- Individuals and organizations that donate 25 or fewer devices will fill out Retrievr’s online form. They will either visit retrievr.com or text the word PICKUP to 757-70-FETCH to get started. Retrievr’s easy-to-use system walks through how to identify what will be donated and how to select your collection date. Retrievr will then do a contactless pickup of your items, and deliver reusable devices to the NERDiT Foundation. NERDiT will refurbish the devices and provide them to nonprofits, who will distribute them to people in need. In support of PHLDonateTech, Retrievr will offer free pickups that include laptops and desktops for free through January 15th.
- Donating 26 or more devices:
- Individuals or organizations that donate 26 or more devices will fill out EAF’s online form and EAF will pick up the equipment for free. EAF can provide donors with a certificate that they followed the industry’s data security and refurbishment standards. EAF will work with Temple’s CRC to refurbish equipment and provide them to Philadelphia nonprofits to distribute the devices to people in need.
- Donating to the Community Device Fund:
- If an individual or organization doesn’t have equipment to donate right now, then they can still help families get devices. Individuals and businesses can make a monetary donation dedicated to PHLDonateTech to the Mayor’s Fund. All funds will help get devices into the hands of those who need them. The Digital Literacy Alliance (DLA) will hand out funds to relevant refurbishers and nonprofits.
“The past 10 months have demonstrated the importance of access to the Internet—from the availability of internet service to access to compatible devices,” said Joseph Divis, Assistant Vice President of AT&T External Affairs. “Throughout this unprecedented time in history, our team at AT&T has been connecting people and organizations with the resources they need to maintain a sense of normalcy. As a member of the DLA, we’re proud to support the City’s innovative initiative that brings together the public and private sectors to help Philadelphians stay or get connected to the resources they need.”
“Retrievr is thrilled to be working with the City of Philadelphia who is taking a leadership position in promoting the reuse of electronics to help bridge the digital divide,” said Kabira Stokes, CEO of Retrievr. “We are proud that Retrievr’s innovative doorstep collection can help to make all of this achievable.”
“Us NERDs believe in giving back to the communities that has given so much to us, and for us to be a part of this initiative we hope that it is the beginning steps to truly close the digital divide within our communities!” said Markevis Gideon, founder of NerdiT Now.
“As a 100% volunteer organization, everyone at Electronic Access Foundation is excited to partner with the City of Philadelphia on this initiative and demonstrate the capabilities of our nonprofit refurbishing efforts and the ability to collaborate with other nonprofits to help underserved communities,” said Greg Campbell, Volunteer Director of Operations.
“For nearly 20 years, the Computer Recycling Center of Temple University has worked to narrow the digital divide by building computer labs for nonprofits throughout the city,” said Jonathan Latko, Director of Information Technology Services at Temple University. “Moving forward, Temple University is proud to partner with the city to continue that legacy by more directly addressing digital equity challenges in our community through PHLDonateTech.”