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  • Date: August 13, 2020
  • Category: News

Here at give IT. get IT., we need computers and laptops any way we can get them to fulfill our digital inclusion mission.

While our preferred method of getting IT is through recycling contracts with New England businesses, we also always welcome donations of technology in all shapes, sizes and ages. As you can imagine, the more reusable technology we can get in a single donation, the easier it is for us to process.

CONSIDER THIS: The federal government removes from service an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 personal computers (desktops, laptops) each YEAR. These perfectly good computers that were purchased with taxpayer funds typically go to for-profit recyclers who either make money off of the individual components or sell the computers themselves to the highest bidder. Instead of being sold for scrap or auctioned off on eBay, imagine if these machines were converted into tools and opportunities for people? Specifically, people who can’t afford to buy new technology and lack the skills to use them in order to achieve their personal improvement, educational and employment goals.

That’s what H.R.7566 – the COVS Act (short for “Computers for Veterans and Students Act of 2020”) is written to accomplish.

This important legislation was initiated by one of our peers in the digital inclusion community, Tech For Troops (T4T) in Richmond, VA. Tech For Troops is every bit as dedicated to helping people acquire the tools they need to succeed as we are. They’ve just chosen to focus on helping men and women who served in the military and their families to prepare for new careers or a new beginning. Just over a year ago, T4T’s Executive Director Mark Casper, a service disabled Marine veteran, decided it was time for the federal government to give its retired technology back to the American people who paid for it.  Working with his local congressmen/women, he initiated a bill to allow digital inclusion nonprofit computer refurbishers to access federal surplus computers for use in their computer access and literacy missions.

What’s good for T4T is good for give IT. get IT. That’s why we’re doing everything we can to rally support for H.R. 7566.

Here in Maine, we’re thrilled to report that Representatives Golden and Pingree have already signed the bill. We’ve also reached out to Senator King and Senator Collins in the hopes of getting this important bill passed.

At give IT. get IT, we rely on businesses to utilize our computer recycling services or donate their old technology to us. At a time when businesses are holding onto their old tech longer in order to avoid big expenses, the prospect of having computers from the federal government distributed to our facility in Waterville, ME fills us with tremendous excitement.

BEST OF ALL, unlike most bills, H.R. 7566 is a zero cost (to the government/taxpayers) process change request. It won’t cost tax payers a cent. Hundreds of thousands of computers that are currently going to for-profit metal recyclers will instead go to give IT. get IT. and the 80+ other nonprofits like us

As give IT. get IT. Operations Director Chris Martin explains: “COVID-19 has really highlighted the effects of digital isolation.  People who don’t have access to computers or the skills to use them have a much harder time finding jobs, keeping jobs and staying connected.  We want to encourage anyone and everyone throughout New England to ask their Senators and Congressmen for support of this bill. At a time where politics has never been more divisive, I truly believe this is one piece of legislation EVERYONE can feel good about.”

As they recently claimed on their Facebook page, the American Legion supports H.R. 7566 which is a testament to its potential to provide digital inclusion to veterans and students of all ages alike.
American Legion HR 7566
HERE IS THE LIST OF REPRESENTATIVES WHO ALREADY SUPPORT H.R. 7566:
Is your representative on this list? If not,
CLICK HERE to find the contact information for your state Senators.
CLICK HERE to find the contact information for your state’s representatives in Congress.
Please help us bring this promising bill into law by sharing this post with your friends and encouraging them to ask their Senators and Representatives to support it. All of us at give IT. get IT. are incredibly excited about this bill and its potential to bring digital inclusion to veterans and students of all ages. We believe digital inclusion is the key to creating more engaged, connected and productive communities.

We appreciate your help to make it happen.

BEFORE THE ELECTION!

 

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