Members of the Sequim PC Users Group say they have an abundance of refurbished desktop computers and need help finding those in need of one.
“It’s a good position to be in — we just need people to give them to,” club president emeritus Tom LaMure said.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic club members have helped social services groups support many individuals and families by providing computers to work and/or do school from home. Now, some of those agencies have received funding to purchase new computers, laptops and/or tablets.
Donated computers, however, continue to come into the club.
As of this week, the Sequim club has more than 100 refurbished desktop computers for those in need of a computer.
The only criteria for an individual or family, LaMure said, is that a recipient “should need, want, and will use it but honestly can’t afford it.”
He added, “There’s no paperwork or credit checks needed; it’s an honor system.”
Find more information at facebook.com/SPCUG.
Technology needs range from families with multiple children homeschooling and/or working remote sharing one computer to seniors who may have never owned a computer before.
“Occasionally I run into people who say they don’t want anything to do with computers, but maybe they’re ashamed to admit they can’t afford one,” LaMure said.
In recent years, club members say they’ve seen demand shift from desktops to laptops and tablets and cell phones.
“People use cellphones for everything now, but there are a lot of practical things that are not conducive on the phone,” LaMure said.
Al Lynn, a club volunteer for four years and computer industry veteran since 1978, said donations and demand ebbs and flows, but laptops remain popular and are given out quickly.
Shop volunteers are certified Microsoft refurbishers and each computer comes with Windows 10, monitor screen, keyboard, mouse, LibreOffice (typing program), tutorials and more installed, and are ready to connect to the internet and use.
Some computers are available with a Linux operating system, if desired.
When the club began refurbishing computers, they had more requests than they could fill but the club’s Tech Team grew and enhanced its procedures over the years, LaMure said.
So far, more than 1,000 computers have been given to those in-need through organizations such as First Step, Peninsula Behavioral Health, Peninsula College and Sequim schools.
LaMure said club members consist of diverse work backgrounds, regions and political beliefs, which they check outside before they come into the shop to help the community.
“I just love it,” Lynn, who has a background in software, said. “It’s relaxing for me.”
The Sequim PC Users Group’s mission is “Making Computer Technology a Reality for Everyone,”