Rolando Godoy, Executive Director of the Compmunity Foundation, has been especially busy during the pandemic. His Marietta-based nonprofit provides refurbished computers to low-income families and seniors, as well as schools and non-profit organizations, across Metro Atlanta and even internationally.
As a result of Covid-19, more people than ever need to work remotely, distance-learn and connect with loved ones online—a tough situation if you can’t afford a new laptop or PC, Godoy said.
“So far during the last five months, we have helped around 120 people,” said Godoy, a web developer and programmer with a master’s degree in Information Technology. “We’re a bit behind because we’re getting more requests for computers and support than we can fill.”
This past August, the Compmunity Foundation gave refurbished computers to two Simple Needs GA clients. “One of them went to a mom who was going to lose her stay-at-home job if she didn’t get her own computer,” said Brenda Rhodes, founder of SNGA. “We’re so grateful to Rolando and the foundation for filling this need, especially now.”
(Thanks also to Natalie Rutledge at Communities in Schools of Georgia, the state’s leading organization providing drop-out prevention, for connecting us with the foundation.)
In 2019, Godoy and his tech-savvy volunteers refurbished and/or recycled more than 120 computers. They also gave 32 hours of free computer training to 100 adults.
If you’d like to donate a computer or make a financial contribution to the foundation, just email email@example.com.
Here are a few guidelines for donating desktops and laptops (working LCD monitors and peripherals are accepted, but not printers, scanners, copiers, microwaves, appliances or ink cartridges) …
- The foundation can’t take all computers: Five years is the maximum age (older than that, and it will be too slow to run the likes of Windows 10). Volunteers may want to run a diagnostic on a computer—checking its memory, hard drive space and processor type/speed—prior to agreeing to accept the donation.
- You can remove the hard drive to protect your private data before donating the computer; alternately, the foundation can use HD Shredder software to professionally wipe the drive, allowing it to be reused (or they can just take the hard drive out and give it to you).
- While the Compmunity Foundation does have an office in Marietta, Godoy and the volunteers are working remotely right now; please do not drop off computers, monitors, etc., at the office without making an arrangement in advance.
Godoy started the foundation out of his garage, having received many requests for help with computers and technology, and also having seen low-income students, individuals and families who were struggling with the digital divide. He was also concerned about e-waste and knew that extending the life of and/or recycling computers could make a dent in the problem, he says.
So far, the organization has refurbished or recycled at least 1,000 computers and has helped hundreds of people, many in Cobb county. “I even have some partnerships with international organizations that collect food, clothes and other items,” Godoy said. “We’ve sent computers to Jamaica, Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, Panama, Kenya and Sierra Leone.”
For more information, visit www.compmunityfoundation.com.