Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

About World Computer Exchange Chapters

World Computer Exchange depends on chapter volunteers to help us accomplish our mission. Volunteers help:

  • Raise Sponsorship funds to help WCE Partners with the last 1/3 of the sourcing and shipping costs (this includes Rotary Clubs)
  • Coordinate marketing for public computer donation events, eCorps recruitment, volunteer recruitment, speakers bureau, and press releases for shipments
  • Pick-up, inventory, test and pack donated used computers
  • Recruit eCorps tech volunteers from local universities and community and organize Speakers Bureau and work with local universities and high schools on community service, pairings, interns
  • Recruit, organize and nurture volunteers to help with Chapter & field work including for eWaste, eCorps, and capacity building
Follow WCE on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Chicago Chapter

Our Chicago Chapter is very active. Volunteers from the Chicago area filled four containers and have shipped over 1400 computers since April of 2008

  • April 2008 four hundred computers shipped to schools in Kaduna, Nigeria.
  • October 2009 two hundred computers shipped to schools in Senegal.
  • June 2010 two hundred computers shipped to schools in Piedras Negras, Mexico.
  • December 2010 twenty computers shipped to schools in Haiti and 200 computers shipped  to schools in the Dominican Republic.
  • December 2011 200 computers shipped to schools in Nicaragua
  • April 2012 200 computers preloaded with content in Spanish were shipped to schools in Piedras Negras, Mexico

The Chicago Chapter maintains a database of about 200 volunteers.  Currently 3 volunteers lead the work:

  • Jack ODonnell has been volunteering with WCE for 6 yrs.  He is the Chapter Coordinator.  He is responsible for acquiring PCs, coordinating volunteers and organizing work events
  • Greg Neumarke has been with WCE for 3 years and is the Lead Tech.  He is repsonsible for the technical detalis and process of refurbishing
  • Carlos Flores  has be with WCE for 1 year and is the Network Administrator.  He is responsible for overseeing the work on volunteer days

The Chicago Chapter Featured on ABC Ch 7 "Live Green with ABC 7 News"

On August 23rd, 2011 WCE-Chicago was selected as the feature for this news segment.  Watch it here.

Upcoming Events 

To receive emails about the events listed below fill out our volunteer form.  Send to Jack ODonnell

All volunteer events are at our warehouse at 1956 W Pershing.  Details about these events will be sent via email.  Please sign up before eventhttp://www.attpioneervolunteers.org/__HomeRegion/HomeRegion.html

 

How to Donate Equipment to the Chicago Chapter

 WCE Chicago Volunteers load container for Senegal 

See Gear We Can Use for more gear ideas to donate.

Location Chicago, Illinois
Coordinator    Jack O'Donnell
Email JODonnell@WorldComputerExchange.org
Drop-Off Please call 773 316 2944 We can often arrange pick-ups of 8 or more sets.

Please contact Jack by phone 773-316-2944 or email prior to dropping-off computers.  Please contact Jack prior to drop-off.

A Volunteer's Perspective

Recently my company participated in a donation drive of used computers in partnership with an organization I am affiliated with, World Computer Exchange. This is a global organization that provides in-kind gifts and computer donations to the world's underprivileged youth.  Recently Walgreens partnered to donate computers to the children of Senegal.  I am so pleased and wanted to make you aware of how this gift of technology can affect change.  Please see information on this life-changing organization:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlXc6rFufe4

News

Piedras Negras, MX Shipment

On Tues, April 14th, WCE Chicago sent its 2nd shipment of 200 computer sets to schools in Piedras Negras, MX.  

This was the 6th shipment from Chicago since 2008.  Computers in this shipment were from many donors: Walgreens, Flexible Benifits, Sarah Van Asche and Associates, First Secure Bank, Turner Construction, ATT Pioneers, The Chicago History Museum, Kankakee Community College, Laner Munchin, MTC Performance, Robert Morris University and Vayhar PVA.

This is the second shipment sponsored by San Luis Rassini http://www.sanluisrassini.com/Eng/Index.htm.  This company manufactures automotive products in Piedras Negras.  The computers are installed in the schools of the employees by staff from San Luis Rassini. 

Volunteer work started in mid January of 2012.  In three months 43 different volunteers put in 680 hours refurbishing the equeipment.  During this process volunteers inspected the computer and made sure that they were working and met our minimum specs.  Hard drives were tested and wiped.  Ubuntu 10.04, the Edubuntu package of 34 education packages, and a 2 gig Content Archive in Spanish was install over a network set up in the warehouse

 

Nicaraguan Shipment

On Tues, Dec 13th 2012, four  WCE volunteers and WCE President, Timothy Anderson loaded 10 pallets with 200 refurbished PC units on to a 20' container which will be delivered to Nicaraguan schools

Its the 5th shipment of PCs from Chicago.  The shipment was the result of the generous donation of computers from Walgreens, Kankakee Community College, Healthcare Alternative Systems, BT Law, Chicago Executive Airport, Chicago History Museum,  Robert Morris  University and The Bradford Group.    The Sponsorship of the shipment came from New Horizons Inc.  We are grateful to the support of Robert Allen and American Wilbert Vault Co which provided us with affordable usable space and our generous warehouse neighbors, Tom and Karen of the Chicago Concrete Studio and Carlos from Bulleyes Automotive Products.  

Volunteers worked most Saturdays from August to early December.  Collectively, our team of volunteers put in over 850 volunteer-hrs in refurbishing the equipment that we sent. Volunteers spent long hours inspecting PCs, cleaning equipment, wiping hard drives, fixing PCs, installing Ubuntu and palletizing equipment.


Chapter Homes

We are now happily in our third home on 1965 West Pershing Road,  Building A, Chicago Illinois 60609. Contact Jack for directions finding where we are in this large building.

In August of 2011 WCE-Chicago found our second home until Feb 2014.  The space was a portion of a warehouse.  It has 1500 sf of work area, indoor truck parking, good lighting, heat, and electric power.  The space has wide doors that will allow computers and monitors to be loaded on pallets and lifted into truck rather than hauled one machine at a time.  This space was located at 11118 S Rockwell in Chicago.   It is a couple of blocks west of 111th and Western Ave.  Use of the space starts on August 1, 2011.  

Dominican Republic Shipment

The Chicago Chapter completed its 4th shipment since 2008 in December of 2010.  The shipment included 200 computers sent to schools in the Dominican Republic.  The computers in this shipment all had Ubuntu 10.04 installed as the operating system along with 34 Edubuntu educational packages.  Theses computers were the first to contain content on the hard drives from the WCE Content Project. The consignee for this shipment was the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Santo Domingo. Special thanks for the donation of computers from Walgreens, Kankakee Community College and the Chicago History Museum.  WCE worked closely on this project with the Infopoverty Institute of the University of Oklahoma and with Education and Training Institute. Following the shipment eCorps volunteers visited the schools and teachers in DR to bring technical support and training.

Mexico Shipment

WCE filled a third container of 200 computers from WCE Chicago in early June 2010.  This shipment went to 15 schools with 3,000 students in Piedras Negras, Mexico.  The computers were all refurbished and loaded with the Spanish versions of the Ubuntu operating system and Open Office.  This was WCE's 5th shipment to Mexico - all have involved Rotary Clubs.  WCE is looking for 3 or 4 schools with Spanish classes to connect with some of these schools.  This was the first shipment benefiting from one of the Strategic Group’s challenge grants.  The computers were Sponsored by SAN LUIS Rassini that has a factory in the area.  This company also donated the shipping and has had their technology staff visiting each of the schools to prepare them for the arrival of the computers.  Donations for this shipment came from Walgreens, Kankakee Community College, the University of Chicago School of Public Policy, Turner Construction, the Youth Technology Corps Program and a major bank that wishes to stay anonymous.  We are grateful for your continued support. 

Senegal Shipment

In October of 2009, the second container of 191 computers from WCE Chicago went to Senegal to help connect 17 schools with 10,400 students assisted by Peace Corps Volunteers.  The computers were all loaded with the French versions of the Ubuntu operating system and Open Office.  This was WCE's 2nd shipment to Senegal - both have involved Peace Corps.  In this shipment, the Embassy of the USA was the consignee of the container and Peace Corps vehicles delivered the computers to the villages.

Nigerian Shipment

In April of 2008, 20 volunteers from the Chicago area filled a 40-foot container with 400 computer sets to go to connect 13 schools with 5,000 students of the Archdiocese of Kaduna, Nigeria.  The WCE Chicago volunteers gathered and tested computers for this shipment.  We also sourced some of the needed computers from recycler PCRR of Chicago.

One of the WCE Chicago volunteers, Joe Kennedy, was part of the the WCE eCorps team of 11 tech professionals who visited Nigeria in August 2008 to help train and network schools in Kaduna.  You can see a story about this on our home page.

Listen to story about WCE on WBBM Radio

Refurbishing approach

We test all monitors and computers that we receive. The Linux operating system (currently Ubuntu 10.04) is installed in the local language. The first step of this process wipes the hard drive.  Even though we only accept working equipment we end up receiving nonworking units.  If possible we refurbish these units. About 85% of the computers and peripherals that we receive are sent as tested working units to classrooms overseas for reuse. When refurbishing is not possible we strip the machi. nes for parts (HDD, RAM,drive, power supplies, video cards) for future reuse. ALL left over e-scarp from computers,dead monitors and nonworking peripherals are sent for recycling. We currently work with the Beverly Unitarian Church which runs quarterly e-recycling events with a vetted recycler. Prior to recycling our dead computers, it is broken into components (motherboards, unusable power supplies CD drives etc). Dead hard drives are pulverized with a hammer before they are sent for recycling. Stripped metal cases are recycled separately. See attached pics.  Nothing is landfilled.

 World Computer Exchange www.WorldComputerExchange.org
"World Computer Exchange is dedicated to helping the world's youth bridge the disturbing global divide in information, communications technology, and trust. We do this by keeping your company's surplus computers out of landfills, giving them new life connecting youth in the world's poorest countries to the Internet..." 

Working through strong organizations in each country together with the local community, provides consulting to nonprofit and government partners in Africa, Asia and Latin America to develop sustainable plans and resources for computer networking, installation, training, provision of materials, and training needed.
[Shortened] List of Responsibilities of WCE partners:

1. Help recruit schools that serve the poor 2. Deliver the computers to the participating schools and centers 3. Ensure schools/centers using computers for poor youth at least six hours of each day 4. Provide community access to the computers (for a fee) outside of the minimum of six free youth hours 5. Help arrange for the maintenance and security of the computers in the schools and centers 6. Help to arrange for the provision and payment of local Internet access and phone service costs 7. Arrange for local press coverage for donating and volunteering companies 8. Help local schools arrange for logistics and homes for WCE student "Internet Ambassadors" 9. Secure on-line reports to WCE by youth of accomplishments, press, partners, and computer inventory twice a year 10. Evaluate the progress at each site annually for three years "

Volunteers

We need volunteers from Chicago to help to accomplish the following five tasks:

  • Raise Sponsorship funds to help WCE Partners with the last 1/3 of the sourcing and shipping costs (this includes Rotary Clubs)
  • Coordinate marketing for public computer donation events, eCorps recruitment, volunteer recruitment, speakers bureau, and press releases for shipments
  • Pick-up, inventory, test and pack donated used computers
  • Recruit eCorps tech volunteers from local universities and community and organize Speakers Bureau and work with local universities and high schools on community service, pairings, interns
  • Recruit, organize and nurture volunteers to help with Chapter & field work including for eWaste, eCorps, and capacity building

Volunteer Work Days

  • Contact Jack O'Donnell to be added to his mailing list for upcoming weekday and Saturday eventsat 1956 W. Pershing.  He provides lunch.  Now that the snow pack has departed - come join us!

 Honor Roll of Donors