CARY — It’s not unusual to hear teens ask for a computer or phone. But it is unusual when they’re asking for someone else – and that’s what a group of coders and enthusiasts is doing as the school year begins at Green Hope High School.
The school’s computer club, led by Griffin College and Jasper Brindis, is collecting used computers, peripherals and phones for refurbishment and donation to others.
“My family, we always were on the cutting edge of technology. We always had the newest stuff. When we wanted computers, we got computers,” said College, 16. “And now in our downstairs closet, under the stairs, there are seven computers. What are they doing? Collecting dust.”
Brindis, 15, was thinking on the same track. He and his father had worked several sessions with Kramden Institute, a Durham-based nonprofit that refurbishes computers and sends them across the state to people who need them.
As the new leaders of the Green Hope High School Computer Club, vice president Brindis and president College decided to put their organization toward a new, charitable goal.
“I’m sure half the school has old computers laying around their houses,” Brindis said.
To promote the idea, the pair went to local business owners, including Cary’s new PDQ restaurant, Planet Smoothie, Chick-fil-A and Zpizza, for sponsorships and rewards for those who donate. Each donation will earn a Chick-fil-A coupon and a shot at a bigger package of coupons.
The group will send the computers, tablets, phones and accessories to Kramden Institute for processing.
After the drive, the club hopes to expand its mission permanently, from simply using computers to sharing their power. That’s an increasingly important goal, considering how thoroughly local schools have digitized themselves.
“If a kid’s at school without a computer, you’re at such a disadvantage,” Brindis said.
“That’s our job – to get as many people as we can a computer,” College added.
Computer donation also tackles the problem of “e-waste,” the form of trash that an electronic device becomes at the end of its often-short lifespan.
The pair had planned to collect only 15 computers and 25 phones, but they were well on their way to passing that number before the drive officially started.
To make a donation, email firstname.lastname@example.org. The teens can arrange pickup from Cary, Apex and Morrisville on Sept. 21 and 28; otherwise, items will be accepted throughout the month at Green Hope High School.
Kenney: 919-460-2608; Twitter: @KenneyOnCary