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Today's RED Hearts Update: News

Turn An Old Laptop into A New Friend

1-22-15
By Cindy Morand, 25, reporting from NYC on a global org that lets you give your used machine to a person you choose

I don’t know about you, but nothing can make me feel more lucky—and wasteful—at the same time than an old laptop sitting around, performing as a ridiculously overequipped paperweight. What do you do with it, with so much of you on there? How do you recycle? Who would want it?

Fortunately, Brooklyn, New York-based Becky Morrison has come up with a very cool and very direct, personal way to donate your used laptop. Her not-for-profit Globetops is an online community that lets you look at the stories of people around the world who have never had a laptop but are in need of one and choose the recipient of your machine. (Never fear, Globetops does the wiping, checking, revamping, wrapping and mailing for you.)

Their stories and locations are fascinating and diverse, from future filmmakers to efforts to stop gun violence, teachers and students, geologists and designers and doctors and boxers. These are people with projects your laptop could help them make happen, in Guinea, Haiti, Kenya, India and across the USA.

Morrison saw a chance to create such connections on a trip to Guinea, when one of her friends, Seuko Sano, an artistic director at Ballet Marveullise, casually asked her to bring a laptop back next time. Morrison then passed the request onto a few colleagues and friends on Facebook. A few days later she was astounded at the number of people, even in just her small circle, who had a laptop they were no longer using but were eager to send overseas to someone who really could.

According to the Globetops site, roughly 220 million tons of old computers and other tech hardware are trashed in the U.S. alone every year; 50 percent of those computers are in good working order.

So why not make a friend with yours, change a life, support an enterprise or an education? The organization’s goal for 2015 is to donate 500 laptops, make 500 new worldwide connections.

If you are interested in donating your laptop go to: www.globaltops.com

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