Voluntary Action Center to give used computers new homes

Monday, January 11, 2010 | 4:22 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Thirty Voluntary Action Center clients will be given a used computer along with all of its equipment on Feb. 20.

The city, the Downtown Optimist Club and VAC will host the annual "Homes for Computers" giveaway next month. The program distributes used city computers to eligible VAC clients, according to a press release.

Donating locations

According to a city press release, residents may not donate their used computers to this program. Instead, the press release suggests residents donate their computers at one of the following locations:

Columbia Computer Center, 1122 Lakeview Ave., 442-9445, accepts working computer parts and monitors less than 10 years old.

Dell Recycle Program partners with Staples,  115 Conley Road, to recycle used Dell computers. Staples also accepts electronic items ($10 fee applies) and provides pickup of larger items too heavy to bring to the store (additional $10 fee).

Mid-MO Recycling, 6104 Brown Station Road, 474-3997, accepts most items at no charge.

FreeCycle, an online message board, was created for residents to recycle various used items.

In addition to being a current VAC client, eligible families must:

  • Have at least one child in grades K-12 in Columbia Public Schools;
  • Not have a computer in the home.

Applications must be completed during the enrollment period, Monday through Jan. 29, and are available at the VAC office, 800 N. Providence Road, Suite 220.

The VAC office will be moving on Saturday to its new location, 403 A Vandiver Drive, next to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The "Homes for Computers" program was approved by City Council in December 2003. Since then, the program has given away 258 computers that would have otherwise been disposed of through MU's surplus property division.

Winners will be notified the week of Feb. 1 and will receive computers from 9 a.m. to noon on Feb. 20 at the Downtown Optimist Club, 1201 Grand Ave.

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