INSPIRED IMPACT is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to purpose-driven organizations and passionate leaders and entrepreneurs who are making an impact in their communities and industries.


 

Julie Seltz is the Executive Director of PCs for People. Follow her on Linkedin and learn more about PCs for People at www.pcsforpeople.com.

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?
PCs for People is an innovative social enterprise that recycles computers from businesses and government agencies and provides them at little or no cost to families who otherwise could not afford them.

Our model promotes digital inclusiveness, empowering low income families with the computers and internet access to compete and succeed in the academic and professional worlds.

 

WHY DO YOU DO IT?
Every home deserves equitable access to the information, education and opportunity available via technology. Access to technology in the home leads to an increase in graduation rates, economic output, and long-term employment.

 

WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
Community Impact:
To receive a computer from PCs for People, clients must be below the 200% poverty level and must provide proof of eligibility annually. The average household income of Colorado recipients hovers around $18,000 annually.
– ⅔ of our recipients have never owned a computer
– 86% of students report improved academic performance
– 46% of those who were unemployed & received a computer landed a job

Recycling and Environmental Impact:
PCs for People provides many of the same services as a traditional electronics recycler at no cost to the business. Our recycling services include a free pickup of all retired business electronics and National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) AAA certified data sanitization services.
– We are currently recycling for 45 companies in Colorado, 400 companies in Minnesota.
– Refurbishing a computer saves five to 20 times more energy than recycling it.
– Only 40% of computers in America are recycled, with the remainder being trashed – an approximate 168,000 tons of waste.
– When a five-pound laptop is discarded, the 20,000 pounds of raw materials it took to make the machine is also wasted.

 

WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
We estimate 800,000 homes in Colorado don’t have a working computer. The critical importance of connectedness in today’s education and economic landscape is evident:
– 95% of all new jobs created require significant computer skills
– 80% of jobs are posted exclusively online
– 70% of teachers assign homework that requires internet access

 

WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
In this day and age, access to an affordable computer and internet at home has become a basic fundamental need.

It’s my dream that children and adults would have a better quality of life, they would be productive and contributing members of society and the disparity between those who have and those who don’t, as it relates to technology, wouldn’t exist.

 

WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE?
We need a consistent supply of computers, community partners to help us get the word out about our services to our target demographic, classes and trainers to equip recipients with digital literacy, and a team of staff and volunteers to help us continue moving forward.

 

WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
The number one request from our customers is laptop computers. As quickly as our team can refurbish, our current supply isn’t keeping up with the demand. We are looking for end-of-lifecycle desktop and laptop computers that are within seven years of manufacture to refurbish and get back in the hands of our community.

 

WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
Opportunities to lead appear in a lot of different forms. Whether you are in a one-on-one conversation or have a large audience, you never know the ripple effect of an exchange. Be grounded in who you are and unmessable-with in your resolve to make a difference.

 

HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
Talk to your company about recycling their end-of-lifecycle equipment with us to get back in to the hands of the community. Come join us and volunteer as an individual or a team. Consider sponsoring an individual or group of people that’s important to you, and qualify for our services, to get technology in to their home. Follow us on social media to see what we are up to!

 


 

Orapin Marketing + Public Relations serves those who serve others. We help purpose-driven companies and nonprofits get the attention and recognition they deserve for the impact they make by securing press coverage, strategic partnerships, and thought leadership opportunities.

 

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