The scourge of COVID-19 means that the ‘digital divide’ has increased, similar to how ‘food deserts’ have become an increased concern in disadvantaged communities. And with more people working and studying from home, accessing computers is more important than ever.
One of the goals of Mission: Ignite, a Buffalo-based nonprofit organization that refurbishes computers, is to ensure that as many people have access to computers as possible, so that no one falls behind. To that end, the organization is hosting a Black Friday sale with refurbished computers – 50% off desktops and more than 30 laptops priced under $250.
Since the onset of the pandemic, even Mission: Ignite has not been able to keep up with the demand, especially for laptops.
“The demand was at a level we’ve never seen in 23+ years,” said Executive Director Christine Carr-Barmasse. “As companies began to give their extra computers to their employees for remote working instead of donating them to us, we were faced with some difficult decisions.”
Responding to the high demand earlier this year, the organization, which relies on donations from local companies, ran out of its stock of laptop computers.
Instead of waiting around for the businesses to supply computers and parts, the decision was made to reach out to liquidators. That pivot is now paying off, but the battle is far from over.
“It shows our commitment to providing computers to our community,” Carr added, “We believe everyone should be able to continue learning and working from home during the pandemic.”
Mission: Ignite has more than 90 laptops stocked, with prices ranging from $200-550. Laptops include webcams, Windows 10 Pro, and Open Office, and come with a 1-year warranty. In addition, Mission: Ignite will offer 50% off desktops (limit first 30 orders). Computers can be purchased online from the organization’s web store at: www.missionignite.org/store.
Mission: Ignite is still desperately looking for donations of desktop and laptop computers. Donations divert waste from landfills and put used computers to use in our refurbishment program. Local companies are encouraged to contact Account Manager Marc Moscato at firstname.lastname@example.org or (716) 823-7248 x572 to arrange donations.
Lead image: Photo by Avery Evans