Once in a while a cause comes along that makes you say "Why didn't I think of that?" PCs4Vets is one of those causes. This is a group of people taking in used and donated computer hardware and turning it into functioning computers that are given away free of charge to our nation's war vets. But the computers don't come alone - they come with software and training and support. Read more...
PCs4Vets is is a recognized 501(c)(3) charity based out of San Diego California and will soon be opening a full service branch in Detroit. What PCs4Vets does is take in old unwanted hardware like any electronics recycling center would do. It's what they do with the dropped off hardware that makes the difference. They take the hardware and sort through it, saving whatever can be reused. The components are cleaned and assembled into working computer towers. The towers are then loaded with software and donated to needy vets. The donated computers enable our vets to complete schooling programs, take care of bills, etc. Their mission statement form their website reads:
A computer with Internet is today's essential tool: PCs4Vets provides veterans with the computers, tools, and basic training needed to connect to family, friends and other veterans, find a job or further their education, or even start their own business. All that is needed is that we stick together with a commitment to our veterans that they will not be left behind after serving our country. We can provide the help, resources, and opportunity needed for them to successfully reintegrate with society. They have done a lot for us, it's our turn to give something back.
PCs4Vets has gained some media exposure as well, which surely has helped their cause. The Examiner did a nice article that you can read here and KGTV in San Diego did an interview with the founder of PCs4Vets, Michael Baker. See it below.
PCs4Vets is also gaining support on Facebook from one of their members named Alfred Shuryan. Al has become a huge advocate for the cause on Facebook by drumming up support from the well-established computer modding community. Lots of reputable companies and people have joined in and donated time and parts to Al. This will enable Al to create some nice custom themed PC's to donate towards the cause. One of his concepts named Purple Heart is shown to the left. Click on it to see the full size concept drawing. Al already has the case shown in the concept drawing, an NZXT Switch 810, that was graciously donated for the cause. Al also has a build log for Purple Heart set up over at LOSIAS.net. The build log will document the entire build process and is updated regularly by Al.
Types of Equipment PCS4VETS Accepts:
They're also limiting computer hardware donations to parts that are 5 years old or newer as older hardware can have trouble working with newer operating systems like Windows 7. They also request that any hard drives that are donated are wiped before you send them in. Wiping a drive is easy and only takes a few minutes. They recommend using Disk Wipe (free) to wipe the drives in preparation for donation.
PCs4Vets is a great cause that helps in more ways than is initially realized. Sure they build computer systems and donate them to vets in need, but they also keep a lot of hardware out of landfills. Computer hardware is hard to recycle as it contains precious metals and components that can be difficult to dispose of. Reusing this hardware keeps it out of landfills and allows vets in need to have access to the internet.
If you have any items to donate or want to help PCs4Vets out financially, check out their website and Facebook page or email info(at)pcs4veterans.com. We here at Computers And Circuits are working on getting together a nice care package for these guys as well. Every little bit will help a vet in need. They risked their lives to keep us free, so the least we can do is give back a little.
About PCs4Vets: PCs4VETS is a non-profit, service disabled veteran owned business. We are committed to providing, at no cost to our veterans and their family members, the basic technology and educational resources needed to achieve their personal, educational and professional goals after having served our country in the Armed Forces.