Joran Sneath, 15, a Life Scout, working towards becoming an Eagle Scout with Novato’s Pack #200, which meets at the Presbyterian church on Wilson Avenue, has started a service project involving computer collection and repair, with the Computer and Technology Resource Center (CTRC), a non-profit environmental charity headquartered in Bel Marin Keys, with another location in Berkeley.
Completion of the project is part of the requirements to attain Eagle Scout status, which is highest level of achievement in the scouting program. Began in 1911, the highly coveted rank has been earned by over two million Scouts, which works out to about seven percent of all Scouts.
As Joran noted in his proposal, “I will be collecting computers to donate to the CTRC. Then other Scouts, friends, family, and I will help repair them.”
The non-profit has a Tech Night every Thursday from 5pm-9pm. Volunteers can drop in to our Novato location and rebuild computers for its donation program. It is hosted by staffer Scott Gibbs, and he and the experienced regulars provide complete training, so newcomers at any level can participate.
Among the actions learned during Tech Night are how to renovate computers by adding hardware, installing an open source Linux Operating system called Xubuntu and adding open source software such as LibreOffice, a Windows Office-like suite of programs. These renovated computers go to low-income individuals and families, schools, and other non-profit organizations.
The Computer and Technology Resource Center has been donating free computers to the SF Bay Area community since 1994. So far this year, the organization has donated approximately 400 working devices. Individuals qualify for a free computer if you they are low income, age 18 or older and complete a simple application form, available at ewastecollective.org.
Alternatively, one can call (415) 883-1428 to receive assistance over the telephone. Non-profits and schools need to provide documentation to support their non-profit or school status, along with a completed application form. The non-profit does not need a huge application for any organization that has a tax id # and a current 501(c)(3) IRS classification.
Recently, CTRC donated 35 computers to Novato High School, and it has received a $15,000 grant from Stop Waste Alameda to expand its pickup activities in the East Bay.
Why is this project undertaken by the Scout? Says Sneath: “This is needed because in the 21st century it is almost required to have a computer to apply for a job, or even do school work. This project help to provide people with computers so they can do tasks like these.”
Tools will be provided by the non-profit, and the Scout plans to enlist over ten other Scouts, friends and family to help coordinate the collection of the used computers from neighbors and businesses, then transport them to CTRC at 42 Digital Drive, #3, Novato.
Sneath has lived with his parents in Novato for the past three years. He formerly lived in Utah and Texas. If you would like to help Joran with his Eagle Scout project, such as donating a used computer, you may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.