How You Can Help
In collaboration with Salt & Light Ministries in Urbana, Illinois, we accept donations of older laptops that are no longer used, or too slow to run Windows. We then wipe them clean to install a new, lightweight operating system, Linux.
These laptops are then, through Salt & Light, provided free of charge to residents, students and families who might not otherwise have access to their own computer.
Salt & Light has graciously agreed to be a dropoff and distribution location for donated laptops.
Their location is:
1819 S. Philo Rd.
Urbana, IL 61802
When dropping off/donating, please leave at the front reception desk for the attention of Lisa Sheltra/REcompute project.
Please use the Contact form to let us know what you can donate.
These laptops are gifts and therefore come with no warranty or guarantee, but the operating system and applications installed on them are free. There are thousands of free applications available for download, covering every discipline in computing.
This website will expand to include help information, but full-blown support will not be available as I do this in my spare time.
Find out more about Linux.
How You Can Benefit
Every donor will receive a receipt from Salt & Light, which will allow them to deduct the value of their donation from their taxes, as far as is permitted by law. Donors will also receive files and logs, where possible, showing that their laptop hard drives have been deleted and sanitized to the NIST 800-88 standard.
Read about our full process.
There will be a record of every laptop donated. This ensures every donated laptop is accounted for and will be donated to a family or student, and not put up for sale.
If you are kind enough to make a donation, we ask that the laptop turns on and has a power cord. We currently have no budget to make repairs or provide missing accessories. PC laptops are preferred, but we can also revive older Mac laptops (2015 and earlier).
We can accept:
- Laptop computers (up to 18 years old) that turn on and have power cords, and working screens, keyboards and touchpads
- All-in-one (AIO) computers, such as 64-bit iMacs or Dell Optiplexes (with WiFi adapters), as long as they have a power cord, a mouse and keyboard
- External USB hard drives (to be provided with laptops with smaller hard drives, for extra storage space)
- USB Wi-Fi adapters
- Wireless mice
We cannot accept:
- Desktop or tower computers
- Mac laptops newer than 2015
- Laptops that do not turn on or do not have power cords
- Computer monitors
- Physically damaged laptops, i.e., laptops with broken screens, keyboards or touchpads
Please use the Contact form to let us know what you can donate. Thank you.
About This Project
My name is Mark Atkinson. I am an IT professional in East Central Illinois who has been in the field for over 25 years.
I recently identified a gap in regard to access to computers.
As such, there are many older, unused laptops gathering dust in basements and drawers (and business stockrooms) that can be revived by wiping the hard drive and installing the Linux operating system, which runs very well on older laptops with smaller hard drives and less RAM.
Find out more about Linux.
This produces laptops that run efficiently, using the software that comes with a Linux install, including a MS Word-compatible office suite (Libre Office), Firefox web browser, and the ability to install other software for graphic manipulation, CAD, games, databases, web servers, and programming, among others.
These laptops will expose recipients to computing and the internet, expanding opportunities and hopefully providing the chance for latent talents to develop. You never know what someone can accomplish when they have the right tool in their hands!
Keeping unused machines out of the landfill is also an important goal.