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Indybay Feature

Free Geek In San Diego? Let's try it!

by Rich Norman
I am seeking people who'd like to get a computer recycling & instruction organization going in San Diego.
I'm gonna start posting everywhere I can think of to get people motivated about starting a Free Geek in San Diego.


If you don't know what I am talking about, I'll try a brief explanation. There are people in San Diego who are low-income and want a computer to type up resume's and surf the net. There are people who have purchased a new Microsoft Vista machine and have no use for the second machine. The City of San Diego is in dire need to raise its recycling rates or continue to pay fines to the US Govt for every month we are under and at the same time using up valuable landfill space.


Free Geek, which started in Portland, Oregon, has been in operation for years. They are a 501(c)3 organization. This means that they are a registered non-profit, able to give tax receipts for money and computers donated to it. The computers are disassembled and the parts tested.


Here's the really cool part! People in the community, who would like to get a computer have many options.

#1. They can take classes, that would be offered @ Free Geek to learn how to build a computer. Then they would build 6 of them from the parts in the warehouse, and they get to KEEP the 6th one.
#2. They could volunteer in a non-build capacity. Answering phones, cleaning up shop, there are lots of non-computer related things that go into the daily operation of a non-profit organization. they rack up volunteer hours and get a free computer.
#3. They could even forego all of that and pay around $100 for one at our thrift store. Any moneys collected or donated to Free Geek would go to paying the rent and other monthly bills.


The Free Geek in Portland also does other things in the community. It educates and is able to certify people in computer assembly and software installation (Linux). It offer a place for people to use the internet. It offers a meeting place for computer and recycling organizations. It provides outreach to youth and seniors. It offers the ability to recycle e-waste. And the funnest part, it provides a place for geeks (and soon-to-be geeks) a place to hang out and socialize with other geeks.


I may have been redundant on a few points, for which I am sorry. I guess I'm just rather passionate about what could be. If you'd like to watch one of the videos discussing Free Geek, go to Youtube.com and search for Free Geek. I'll be putting some of the actual videos on the freecomm.org site soon.


So...If you'd like to help me make this a reality, let me know....I wanna start monthly meetings about it.

-- Rich (@) Freecomm.org
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