Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Here’s how to donate your unused computers to Philly families in need

Have some old laptops or desktops collecting dust? The City of Philadelphia can redistribute them for you.

Tip tap.

(Photo by Flickr user Amelia Wells, under a Creative Commons license)

The pandemic has amplified the need for accessible technology, and local gov wants to help that cause.

The City of Philadelphia is looking for laptops and desktops in fair or good condition to be donated via PHLDonateTech, its new initiative to bring unused devices to families and people who need them.

Those with 25 or fewer devices can use the Retrievr service to donate by texting the word PICKUP to 757-70-FETCH (757-703-3824) or visiting Retrievr’s website. Laptop and desktop pickups are free for this initiative through Jan. 15.

For those with 26 or more tech donations, Electronic Access Foundation has a form on its website where you can set a time for the organization to come pick up your donations free of charge.

For those who wish to donate and do not have refurbished technology, the Mayor’s Fund is accepting monetary donations, which the Digital Literacy Alliance will disperse to refurbishers and relevant nonprofits.

In June 2020, after earning a City contract through the Office of Innovation and Technology’s first Pitch & Pilot round, Retrievr started providing doorstep collection for clothing and electronics with an aim to help minimize Philadelphia’s waste stream.


Other PHLDonateTech program partners include telecomms giant AT&T, NERDiT Foundation and Temple University Computer Recycling Center.

When the shutdown began in March, NERDiT Foundation — the nonprofit offshoot of Wilmington tech repair biz NERDiT Now — partnered with Delaware organizations and raised $75,000 toward distributing refurbished computers for people in need. The org has also recently partnered with the West Philadelphia Corridor Collaborative via tech repair pop-ups. Through PHLDonateTech, NERDiT will refurbish donated computers so they can be redistributed.

Michael Butler is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. -30-
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