IT Surplus Improves Lives for People with Disabilities in the Czech Republic
Microsoft partnered with InterConnection and TechSoup to donate their surplus computers to charities in the Czech Republic.
Microsoft is one of the largest technology corporations in the world and as one would expect, has a large amount of surplus computer equipment. Microsoft Community Affairs has worked with InterConnection since 2004 to donate thousands of their surplus computers to nonprofits in countries around the globe, including Vietnam, St. Lucia, Kenya, Pakistan, Chile, and Romania. Locally in the United States, Interconnection has donated computers on behalf of Microsoft to the Boys and Girls Club, YWCA, and Treehouse.
The most recent donation of Microsoft surplus equipment handled by InterConnection went to a charity in the Czech Republic called Charta 77 that supports people with disabilities. This donation provides a compelling example of how a business can easily use their surplus assets to improve the lives of people around the world, at no cost to the business. When Microsoft contacted InterConnection in the fall of 2011, they did not have a specific recipient lined up for the donation. InterConnection contacted its partner, TechSoup.org, about the need for computers among the charities they support. After a simple application and screening process TechSoup identified a worthy and trusted organization in the Czech Republic to receive the computers.
InterConnection received the computers from Microsoft, installed Windows 7 Pro and Office 2007 in Czech, and shipped 157 computers by sea. Shipping and refurbishing costs were covered by InterConnection in exchange for some of the donated equipment from Microsoft. There were no costs incurred by Microsoft for the donation. The computers are now serving more than 9,200 individuals from 13 different nonprofits across the nation.
Charta 77 worked with 13 other Czech nonprofits to distribute the computers. The nonprofits that received the computers used them to support a variety of programs, including wheelchair sports, healthcare access, human rights advocacy, computer labs for the unemployed and a travel agency for people with disabilities. Here is one testimonial from a recipient: "These computers provide our clients easier access to technology and information. We hope that computer lessons will increase their position on labor market" says director of Centrum pro., Libor Schenk.” Learn more.