COVID is terrible for all of us, but can you imagine what virtual learning is like for a student or family who can’t afford a home computer?
Please help Laptop Upcycle continue our mission to provide free refurbished laptops and internet access to these students.
To date, with the generous support of our donors, we have accomplished so much:
Any amount is appreciated. We are 100% funded by your contributions that help us refurbish donated laptops and provide wifi connectivity. (Not surprisingly, many laptops need a little TLC before they’re usable!).
Have a laptop (or many) you don’t need? Click here to let us know. We will pick it up, securely wipe the hard drive, refurbish it and quickly get it to a waiting student.
Thank you for your generous support! We couldn’t do it without you!!!
And we mean it -- straight from the Laptop Upcycle Lab in the basement of the United Way building. We are grateful to those businesses, organizations and individuals who think of us throughout the year allowing us to provide laptops to kids in need. With COVID forcing virtual learning everywhere, your generosity has allowed 800 students to get their work done.
And (drumroll please), we’d like to pat everyone on this list on the virtual, safely distanced back for all your 2020 thinking that’s helped so many.
Please consider adding your name to our thankful and thinking list for 2021 with a donation or proposal.
Sarah Damaskos, Co-founder and Board Member
The Laptop Upcycle Team
School’s out for the rest of the year thanks to COVID-19. DO YOU NEED A COMPUTER? If so, is this YOU?
At Laptop Upcycle, we clean up and recycle laptops that are given to us free of charge. And then we give them to high school and middle school students in need. Your laptop is FREE and you can keep it FOREVER. We know you need a working computer to keep up with school – even more so now you they can’t go to school.
Believe it or not, there are NO strings attached. Free laptops for kids who need laptops.
What if you don’t need a computer? Do you have a friend in need? Someone on your bus or your team or in your classroom (when you used to have a classroom)?
Be kind and share this link to get started.
It’s that easy! We’ll get back to you! Quickly.
PS: Schools and community groups, we’d like to talk to you. We’re a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has an innovative solution to fill the school technology gap. If you have students in need of computers, we’d like to help. Start here: https://www.laptopupcycle.org/
PPS: Businesses and individuals, donate your unneeded laptops. It’s a pretty great feeling when you know that your old computer (securely cleaned of course) is helping a kid get to graduation and beyond. Think about all that extra space in your drawer/cabinet/under the bed that you’ve got now. And a 501(c)(3) tax donation receipt to boot. All in all, good karma and good sense for helping students with a computer you don’t even use! So, if you’re interested in good karma, click here: https://www.laptopupcycle.org/donate.html
In the last few weeks we've been pretty busy giving laptops and hot spots to students who need them. Heck, we even gave out 7 just today. Here's one example of why we do it. Please consider helping us help others, and visit our Donate Page. Thanks!
In addition to giving out laptops, Laptop Upcycle provides free WiFi hotspots which are in part supported by the US Sprint ConnectedEd program (thanks President Obama!). We have given out over 185 of them and we have more in stock (need one?). For those of our community supported by this service, see the below update/upgrade from US Sprint on your service.
Dear ConnectED Recipient,
With the impact of COVID-19 continuing to unfold across the U.S., many of our partner school districts, schools, libraries and non-profits are closing their doors and preparing contingency plans that include remote learning options. As institutions consider moving to an online teaching and learning environment for the remainder of the school year to help mitigate the spread of the virus, students who lack home internet access are at an even greater risk of falling behind. While COVID-19 puts an important (yet unfortunate) spotlight on the Homework Gap issue, Sprint is committed to supporting our partner districts, schools, libraries and non-profits, so we’re taking additional steps to ensure broadband access.
Ø Sprint is increasing our data allotment from 3GB’s to 20GB’s per month/user through June 30, 2020.
We hope this additional action will help support contingency plans.
Together, we can help ensure students have the necessary connectivity needed to continue their learning during these uncertain times.
Laptop Upcycle has suspended our lab hours in light of the progression of the COVID-19 virus and our shared need to limit social contact. This policy applies to laptop deliveries and open lab volunteer hours. We will re-evaluate our policy as events dictate. Please note the following:
The Laptop Upcycle Team
Since our creation over three years ago, Laptop Upcycle has enjoyed working with administrators and teachers in our public schools to deliver laptops and free WiFi to students who need the support and to help eliminate the technology gap for them. As we face uncertainty related to the COVID-19 virus and the possibility of remote (from home) schooling, Laptop Upcycle would like to remind the community that we have both laptops and free WiFi Access Points available to those in need. Our general policy is to give students laptops or families free WiFi if they qualify for free or reduced lunch in our schools or if a counselor or principal verifies the need.
We have been in communication with our contacts in each of the Middle schools and Montclair High School to inform them that we are prepared to distribute laptops and/or free WiFi to students who qualify. Please contact your school counselor if you have the need or you may submit an online request on the Get Technology link on our page here.
About Free WiFi
The ability for Laptop Upcycle to provide free WiFi Hot Spots to families in need stems from generous grants from the Leslie Larson and Don Katz Foundation based here in Montclair. Leslie and Don have long been supporters of our efforts and innovation in education both locally and in Newark, NJ. Ms. Larson served on the Montclair Board of Education as a Board member for 6 years and Mr. Katz is on the Board of Uncommon Schools in Newark which consistently rank among the highest performing public charter schools. Additionally, Don and his company, Audible, have made many impact producing investments and championed many programs in the Newark Public Schools. The US Sprint ConnectedEd program also generously supports this Laptop Upcycle program.
We at Laptop Upcycle are passionate about supporting our local students. In addition to handing out over 530 laptops to students who need them and over 130 free WiFi access points to families, we host weekly volunteer sessions in our lab where students learn real world technical skills and give back to the community as they prepare laptops for others.
Now we're looking to expand the breadth of our services by providing free laptops and work stations to local nonprofits who support our young adults locally in any way.
Here's how it works:
If your nonprofit organization supports students in any way, Laptop Upcycle will provide you with top of the line refurbished laptops or work stations to help you deliver and improve your service offerings. We will assist your organization in multiple ways, for example:
Thanks from the Laptop Upcycle team!
Laptop Upcycle congratulates fellow Montclair nonprofit Sister to Sister on the inauguration of their new lab at 11 Pine Street. Sisiter to Sister is one of the groups supported by Succeed2gether at this location. Our primary mission of course is to deliver high quality refurbished laptops and free wifi hotspots to students in need. In the course of our work to support these students we also often meet leaders of other local nonprofits. We hear their stories and we always try to think of other ways to help. Sister to Sister is one such success story.
We met their Director, Dr. Doris Bennett (above), in our lab back in October of 2019. She had been working with her team to provide after school mentoring and a study lab that could also support a series of STEAM classes and needed equipment. We had recently provided 10 laptops to the Mindful Awareness Academy for Children (MAAC) upstairs in the United Way building and luckily we had also been informed by one of our partners, Greg Campbell at the Electronic Access Foundation that one of his clients had a group of small form desktops available for donation. A plan was hatched!
The Electronic Access team coordinated the pick up of the generous donation from a local medical support organization in Parsippany and delivered the 10 HP desktops to our lab in Montclair. Once onsite, we did what we always do first to new equipment, our student volunteers wiped the drives and documented the destruction of all the information on the machines. Since these were donated from a medical firm, we also provided a detailed report on each machine processed to Greg for his donor. Then our team jumped in and imaged the machines for the Sister to Sister lab with our education focused Linux package. In November Jon delivered the machines to the lab and helped them set up the lab.
The first Bootcamp for the students in the new lab was in December on mobile application design and Sister to Sister looks to continue the after school program through 2020. We would also be remiss if we didn't mention that the Sister to Sister Secretary Lisa White has been awesome throughout this process and she even coordinated individual laptop GETS for a dozen Sister to Sister High School students. We're excited that we could help and we are thankful to all mentioned in this post for their help in making it a success! Sister to Sister is making a huge difference in Montclair and we're glad we could help them realize their dream.