Twenty-two percent of Baltimoreans live below the poverty level. More than 60% of children working to overcome academic challenges in city public schools do not have computers in their homes and lack access to high-speed internet. Gary Bonner, PCs for People Baltimore Executive Director, and his team are committed to leveraging the time-tested strategies and infrastructure of PCs for People to equip and empower low-income families with the transformative opportunity to leverage quality technology to improve their lives. We are launching with the support of local foundations and projecting that the organization will be completely self-sustaining within 24 months.
Gary Bonner has been appointed Executive Director of PCs for People of Maryland. He leads the newest expansion of this 20-year national social enterprise into the mid-Atlantic market. Headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, PCs for People began working to drive digital inclusion and advocate for digital equity in 1998. Through locations in Denver, Kansas City, Cleveland, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and now Baltimore, PCs for People refurbishes and repurposes computers and peripherals for distribution to low-income families and nonprofits.
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, every project, program, and initiative at PCs for People is centered on getting low-cost computers and affordable broadband internet into the homes of low-income individuals. Through an unwavering commitment to the communities they serve, PCs for People has distributed over 115,000 computers, subscribed 96,000 families to low-cost internet, and recycled 7 million pounds of electronics.
Digital inclusion efforts such as ours are essential in today’s society, where it is increasingly hard to access education, healthcare, or employment opportunities without access to a computer and the internet. Our model is a self-sustainable social enterprise centered on driving individual and community impact in every part of our program while funding our efforts through the sale of commodities, recycled e-waste, and repair services. – Gary Bonner, PCs for People Baltimore, M, Executive Director
PCs for People’s model contributes to environmental sustainability by intercepting usable computers before they reach landfills and refurbishing them for reuse. Businesses typically retire computers long before their usable life is over, which has contributed to America becoming the largest producer of electronic waste in the world. The organization offers businesses a certified secure electronic recycling service. This IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) service is free and offers benefits such as privacy and total data security that businesses would ordinarily have to pay for. All usable computers obtained through this service have their data securely wiped using the nationally recognized industry standard NAID AAA certified process and are then refurbished for distribution to families with household incomes that are 200% of poverty or below.