Personal computer group seeks those who need the technology
SEQUIM — Members of the Sequim PC Users Group have an abundance of refurbished desktop computers and are looking for people who need them.
“It’s a good position to be in — we just need people to give them to,” said Tom LaMure, club president emeritus.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, club members have helped social services groups support individuals and families by providing computers to work and/or attend school from home.
Now, some of those agencies have received funding to purchase new computers, laptops and/or tablets.
However, donated computers continue to come into the club.
As of this week, the Sequim club has more than 100 refurbished desktop computers for those in need.
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.”
Technology needs range from families with multiple children homeschooling and/or working remotely and 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 cellphones.
“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 ebb and flow, but laptops remain popular and are given out quickly.
Shop volunteers are certified Microsoft refurbishers, and each computer comes with Windows 10, monitor, keyboard, mouse, LibreOffice (typing program), tutorials and more installed, and they 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 a diverse work background, regions and political beliefs, which they check outside before they come into the shop to help the community.
“I just love it,” said Lynn, who has a background in software. “It’s relaxing for me.”
The Sequim PC Users Group’s mission is “Making Computer Technology a Reality for Everyone.”
To be considered for a computer donation, contact the club at 360-797-5771 or [email protected], visit spcug.net or mail to: SPCUG, P.O. Box 1994, Sequim, WA. 98382-4030.
For more information, check the group’s Facebook page.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected]