Coming up on 15 years this March, the Electronic Reusing Association opened; the brain child of a young immigrant from Croatia. Bojan Paduh was just a teenager when he and his family arrived in Canada. He was overwhelmed with the gift of a used laptop from a local church. That simple gesture of welcome changed his life, leading to studies in computer science and the opening of ERA – Electronic Reusing Association.
One of their prime missions was to help other immigrants and charities needing technology. ERA focuses on reusing and refurbishing laptops, computers, monitors, servers, printers, cell phones and many other electronic devices. As a non-profit, they strongly believe in tackling the growing problem of e-waste. In a short time, they have become industry leaders in data destruction and securely repurposing hundreds of tons of equipment.
First US depot opens in Seattle
Seattle will be the first ERA depot to open in the United States. The team will be up and running in March; searching out like-minded partners wanting to find solutions to prevent perfectly good electronic equipment from premature destruction. They will be matchmakers – lining up refurbished equipment with non-profits. Individuals wanting a refurbished computer would need to go through a registered charity. Otherwise, volunteers who donate 24 hours of their time at the ERA depot can receive a free laptop!
Just how meaningful is a gift of technology to a charity or newcomer? Ask the staff at a society for the protection of children. During an ERA “Giving Tuesday” event last November, the society was one of 32 organisations to be given the gift of technology. Their office received four computers, two laptops and a projector. The director was “over the moon” explaining that until then, they were still using pen and paper to document reports. And for personal stories of the impact on new immigrants, watch this heart-warming television news story.
5 stars for service!
Not only are the recipients happy, the donors from banks to tech companies and businesses are also extremely pleased with the high level of service and security. As one company said, “ERA arrived today and got our equipment packed up and taken away quite quickly. I just wanted to follow up and thank your team for all their help with recycling our old monitors. I’d give your service 5/5 stars!”
Says ERA president Bojan Paduh: “We are looking to donate over 100 laptops and 100 computers to charities and schools in the Seattle area to mark ERA’s grand opening in the US market. Many companies and individuals just throw their old devices away; we believe there us another option – reusing electronics.”
Opening in South Seattle, ERA will welcome applications for donations from small to large companies. Charities in need of the gift of technology can start to apply online in March. Any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-309-2805.