McHENRY – The owner of a McHenry-based computer and laptop repair service has started Computers for the Community, a project intended to enhance both the environment and area residents’ futures.
“Refurbishing a computer is five to 20 times more energy-efficient than recycling,” said Frank McClatchey, owner of ProFix at 1623 N. Riverside Drive, McHenry. “Each drop-off is a step toward a brighter future for our community and the environment.”
Computers and other electronic devices have been banned from Illinois landfills since 2012, and trying to determine how to dispose of an old, unused PC or laptop can be daunting.
But old computers can have new life helping a school student to gain valuable skills, helping a struggling adult to develop job skills and résumés or helping the elderly to stay connected with friends and family, according to a news release.
“Children who come from homes without a computer are at a disadvantage,” McClatchey said. “They lack the basic computer skills that others have acquired at home. They can’t practice their skills or complete assignments without going to the library, which isn’t always feasible due to transportation or scheduling issues.”
McClatchey said he will wipe hard drives clean and refurbish donated computers for distribution to those in need. He already is working with officials at Home of the Sparrow. He also is working with a major Internet service provider to try to develop a local plan for reduced-cost Internet connections for those in need.
The Home of the Sparrow operations manager said that the project, if successful, could greatly benefit the homeless women and children that the agency serves.
“For our women to be able to search for jobs online, for the children to do homework, for all of those sorts of things, it’s almost a necessity to have computers,” Leslie Coen said. “It will help them in their journey to self-sufficiency.”
McClatchey said he already has begun to accept computers. For information or to schedule a drop-off, call 815-385-1813 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.