By Camille Lozano

At Computers 2 San Diego Kids’ Miramar warehouse, desktop monitors, computers, laptops, printers, hard drives, keyboards, wiring, and more…are stacked high.

Every piece of hardware has its place on the warehouse floor, and a resounding purpose: to help improve and pave a future for children in need across San Diego County.

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Donate to Computers 2 San Diego Kids today.

About three of every four jobs today require computer literacy. Those jobs also require applications to be completed online. Even in mundane, daily tasks, computers are crucial. Search engines allow users to find answers in a snap, important documents are emailed and business connections are made.

In a world increasingly shaped by cyberspace savviness, how can any child expect to succeed throughout life without a keyboard beneath his or her fingers?

Since 2004, C2SDK has been breaking down this digital disparity in our region by working with other nonprofits, local businesses and corporations to identify available resources and connect them with disadvantaged children and their families.

Last year, the non-profit put 7,800 computers in the hands of San Diego youth. Those kids belong to families that have an average income of $17,360 a year.

“We take for granted that everyone has a computer, but the truth is, they don’t,” C2SDK’s Chief Executive Officer Cheri Pierre said. “Today, everything is technology-based. So if you don’t have a computer, you are automatically at a disadvantage in the community.”

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Donate a computer or technology to C2SDK today.

But it’s not just the kids and their families that benefit from these life-changing donations. C2SDK incorporates recycling into its mission too. Every piece of hardware is evaluated to determine whether or not it has an extra life.

C2SDK systematically recycles unwanted computers, and the devices that can’t be salvaged are responsibly disposed of. Last year the organization collected 383,273 pounds of e-waste…but also 200,000 pounds of useable hardware.

And the organization never says no to tech donations. What isn’t a computer, or can’t be used by families in need, gets listed for sale on Ebay. In turn, 100% of those profits go back into the recycling and refurbishing process for the computers.

“We want to educate the county, educate everyone, that we should be the only place you come to when you’re thinking about getting rid of a computer,” Pierre said. “What may be unusable to you can mean a world of difference to a child in need.”

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Volunteer with Computers 2 San Diego Kids today.

The organization absolutely relies on donations. Donations of time, money and technology to fill a need that is greater than ever.

This year, C2SDK is working to step up their bottom line and provide 10,000 computers to kids in need. The organization has around 75 volunteers working hard to make this happen, some who have been coming in every day for the past five years to help.

But more volunteers and funding for at least two more staff members are needed to meet the 10,000 in 2016 goal…and of course, more hardware is always needed.

So the next time you see those signs advertising for e-waste collections…ask yourself, where is all of that really going? Is it headed somewhere to be pulverized and tucked away forever in a digital dump? Or could it instead, through the dedication of C2SDK volunteers, be repurposed to change the lives of the more than 25% of San Diego families who can’t afford this crucial technological tool; to provide a young boy or girl with the digital edge they need in our technology-driven world.

SDG&E has provided C2SDK with $5,000 dollars each year to help fulfill the organization’s mission to facilitate equal access to technology in the San Diego region and promote computer literacy. Additionally, SDG&E has created a video promotion of C2SDK to share its life changing mission with donors and interested parties.

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