You might be lucky enough to find a new iPod (s aapl), iPad or even MacBook under the tree this holiday. Even if you’re just going to get some accessories, the fact remains that you’ll likely be replacing some old things with the new. So what to do with all perfectly good stuff you won’t really be using anymore?
Why not pass your good fortune forward and donate it to people who could really use it? In many cases, you can probably sell your old gear for a decent sum, but if you can’t or if you’d just rather make someone’s day, donating used electronics is a good way to accomplish that.
Goodwill and Dell (s dell) have a partnership set up, called Reconnect, by which you can drop off any brand of used computer equipment at a participating Goodwill location and they’ll recycle it for you, and even provide a tax receipt for your troubles. The equipment will either be put back into service, or it’ll be recycled and its value put towards helping Goodwill’s efforts to put find work for people.
Another option is to send your unneeded items to iResQ. The company isn’t a charitable organization like Goodwill, but it will help you put your old and even broken gear to good use, since it helps the company supply its repair efforts. You’ll keep more electronics out of landfills, and help people get their gear fixed before they have to resort to replacing it, which should save some folks some money. iResQ will also pay for your old Apple Macs and iDevices, so you get a little something back with this method.
Another charitable option is the National Cristina Foundation. It’s a not-for-profit designed to help educators and training programs for at-risk students and people with financial and learning disabilities get access to the tools they need to succeed. They act as a go-between between donors and organizations in need, and operate in the U.S., Canada and internationally.
At the very least, don’t just throw your old gear out. Check out the recycling options for used electronic devices near you, something that can usually be accessed from your local municipal or state-level government website. And of course, relatives never seem to mind hand-me-downs when it’s an Apple computer or media player. Socks, on the other hand? Not so much.
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