TEP is asking Tucson businesses and residents to join us in supporting a local nonprofit organization that refurbishes used computers for local residents.

We Care Tucson is seeking donations of used or surplus laptops and desktop computers to help bridge the digital divide by providing affordable access to students, job seekers and local residents. Volunteers wipe the memories clean on donated devices, install hard drives and restore them for resale at low prices.

“Our goal is to keep community members connected to what they need: students to their schools, online job seekers to employment, elders and others to their family, friends and the larger world,” said Deb Maher, Interim Executive Director of the nonprofit.

She noted the service has another societal benefit as well. “By donating laptops and computers, we are keeping e-waste out of landfills and helping to sustain our environment.”

TEP’s $5,000 donation to We Care Tucson is part of our philanthropic focus on community assistance as well as on environmental stewardship.

“We Care is truly an example where everyone wins,” said Wendy Erica Werden, Manager of Community Investment and Philanthropy. “Businesses are saved the hassle of safely and securely disposing of their equipment, landfills are saved additional materials and people can obtain the items they need at a lower cost. We Care is a wonderful resource for our community.”

We Care Tucson’s shop sells desktops for as low as $50 to students with a school referral. Prices for the general public run between $100 and $400 for computers and laptops. After refurbishment, the computers run like they did when they were new.

“When the pandemic hit, it laid bare the economic inequities and disparities in our community in an even more pronounced way. What became clear is that interconnection is as important as food, shelter and electricity,” Maher said. “Financially stressed individuals became more and more isolated.”

The computer proceeds help pay for another We Care Tucson program that provides loaner medical equipment to those in need. In addition, the group accepts heavy-duty equipment for metal recycling.

TEP’s donation helped fund the hiring of a part-time warehouse assistance, as well as other necessities.

“Since contributions support our critical services, the support from TEP has been wonderful,” Maher said.

Businesses that would like to donate computers can go to the We Care website for more information, take computers to the store at 3029 N. Stone Ave., or call (520) 514-1588. The organization will arrange pickups for bulk items.

We Care Tucson was formerly known as World Care, which provided international disaster relief donations. Last year, the group incorporated as We Care Tucson to focus on meeting local community needs.

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