How a Purple Elephant gives new life to computers

Recycle your PC's

The purple elephant is on the taller one standing on the right

Although we try not to accumulate too much ‘stuff’, like most folks, things do tend to pile up around our house. “Waste not – want not” was something I heard many times growing up and I use that as my rationalization for not tossing items that may have good use left in them.

As a technologist, I manage to accumulate PC’s and parts, some as I’ve upgraded, some have never been put to use, and others as I add or replace technology. Summer in the south has most certainly arrived, but I’m still doing a little ‘spring cleaning’ and felt the need to thin out some of my computer inventory. I expanded my cleaning frenzy just a bit and rounded up some items from friends and business associates as well.

In case you did not know, tossing almost anything with electronic components in the regular trash, especially silicon chips, is not a good thing for our environment. We try very hard to be a green company at Anna’s Gourmet Goodies, and I like to help out and pay it forward whenever I get the opportunity. Fortunately, Raleigh has the perfect solution for recycling working computers and peripherals – The Purple Elephant Computer Factory.

The Purple Elephant takes donated PC’s and components, refurbishes them, and distributes them to kids of all ages – primarily those that are economically disadvantaged, at-risk, or from military families with members in active service.

Their mission:

“To bridge the educational and rehabilitative needs of children, and adults, by placing computer technology directly into the home.”

So, I packed up the car with several PC’s, a monitor and peripherals and dropped them off this past Friday morning. They have an impressive, well organized facility and a very friendly and helpful staff. Anna’s Gourmet Goodies has donated to their silent auction in the past and it was a pleasure to offer up something other than gourmet cookies to help out this organization.

Doing something for someone else that you will never meet and expecting nothing in return, is truly one of life’s greatest gifts. Being somewhat of a ‘geek’ at heart, it is particularly exciting for me to think that somewhere, some child will have an opportunity to step up into the computer world that they may not have had without an organization like The Purple Elephant. It may open their eyes and ultimately, open doors for them in the future.

Today is Father’s Day. I’m not totally sure what Debbie and Anna have planned, but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get a nap in some time during the day. We’ll spend some time as a family, enjoy a nice meal, and perhaps open a card or gift. But I’m counting my trip to see the Purple Elephant on Friday as one of my Father’s Day gifts this year. Like many fathers, we spend a lot of time trying to teach our children that we should be grateful for what we have, always seek ways to be of service to others, give back, and pay it forward. In a small way, I got the chance to ‘walk the talk’ on Friday – to visit the Purple Elephant, and hopefully, make some kids happy. Seeing my own daughter smile is my best Father’s Day gift, and knowing that I may help bring a smile to some other children, well, that’s like a cookie stuffed with extra chocolate chips, pretty sweet.

Read more:

The Purple Elephant Computer Factory
Learn how and where to your electronics

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