We recently came across this article that highlights how we can bridge the digital divide, and get more people of every income level using computers in their homes and at work. It’s always astonishing how many perfectly usable computers and electronic devices are thrown away. The Exploration Station in Grover Beach, California refurbishes used computers for their Computers 4 Youth program just like we do here in Pittsburgh.
Apple sold 237 million iPods, iPads, Macs, and other devices from January to September of last year. In 2005, US households threw away 304 million electronic devices, including computers; two-thirds of those devices still worked. But computers aren’t nearly as ubiquitous as they seem—at least, not for everyone. Here’s where abundance butts heads with scarcity: 46% of the poorest households in America still don’t own a home computer.
Over the past 14 years, the Computers 4 Youth program has given out nearly 4,000 computers to kids and adults in need. Here in Pittsburgh, our program just hit 4,015 computers refurbished for re-use! It seems like we have a lot in common with the California program – including a passionate team of volunteers to help with our efforts. Without them, many of these programs would not be possible.