Free Geek, “Helping The Needy Get Nerdy”, is a great organisation based in Portland, Oregon. The belief behind the organisation is very simple: many people discard IT equipment that they don’t want, that other people need.
The model applied at Free Geek is much the same as that of Crossroads International, which is a Hong Kong-based NGO that deals with all sorts of superseded goods by collecting, repairing and distributing them to other NGOs in need.
The genius behind this model is that it simultaneously meets real needs whilst dealing with some of the excess produced by our horribly wasteful and materialistic society.
In an interesting twist, Free Geek gives people the chance to earn their own free computer after 24 hours of service, which is a great way to reward volunteers.
They also use Open Source solutions on all machines, such as GNU/Linux, thus acting as a great “bottom-up” way of spreading free software love.
Check out their video on YouTube: