City of Houston Honors Comp-U-Dopt

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Houston leaders recognize emerging non-profit which provides refurbished computers to deserving local children and fosters computer reuse, better environmental stewardship and community service.

Children learning about their new computers.

Comp-U-Dopt exists to connect the existing supply of unused or discarded corporate computers and the educational needs of underserved Houston children.

Comp-U-Dopt founder and president John Osha accepted a proclamation from the City of Houston as an encouraging sign of the technology non-profit’s growth and momentum in the community.

Sponsored by City Council Member Melissa Noriega, a 27-year public school educator, the proclamation was presented just days before Comp-U-Dopt provided a 1,500th Houston child with a computer.

Osha said, “All of us at Comp-U-Dopt appreciate the City’s recognition, especially by Council Member Noriega, of our mission to provide refurbished computers to deserving Houston children and foster computer reuse, better environmental stewardship and community service.”

In remarks before the Council, Osha said 250 million computers are in use nationally, with an average lifespan of about three years in business settings. Of those computers, he said, only 18 percent of computers are recycled properly. An estimated 68 million used computers languish in storage warehouses across the United States and millions more end up in landfills.

“At the same time,” Osha said, “in every council district of Houston, countless school-age children do not have access to a computer in their home. These children are at a significant educational disadvantage. Comp-U-Dopt exists to connect the existing supply of unused or discarded corporate computers and the educational needs of underserved Houston children.”

Founded in 2007, Comp-U-Dopt awards computers to children who submit essays explaining how a computer will benefit their education. Each refurbished computer comes with Linux-based educational tools such as word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and Internet capabilities. Children who receive computers attend a two-hour “adoption” session with parents or guardians to learn software use and computer care.

Comp-U-Dopt accepts three kinds of support: 1) donations of working PCs and laptops, 2) tax-deductible financial donations which cover the costs of refurbishing and distributing the computers and related educational support, and 3) volunteers – with or without technology expertise.

Donating computers to Comp-U-Dopt is a safe, reliable way to dispose of working computers and monitors that are not in use. Corporate, institutional and individual donors can be assured hard drives of donated computers are erased to U.S. Department of Defense standards. More information is available at http://www.compudopt.org.

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Julissa Chappell
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