Standing in a sea of computer hardware at 1820 Pandora Street with Catarina Moreno, the new Executive Director at Free Geek Vancouver. I follow Catarina through a maze of thingamabobs while I imagine her singing: Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete?
She guides me through a maze of organized gizmos, gadgets, and volunteer workstations where computers get taken apart and wires get tested. Catarina says, “Computers are pretty magical but what’s more magical are volunteers.” Free Geek has an impressive record of more than ten thousand volunteers over the span of 17 years. Full-time Free Geek employee and former volunteer Steven Lee says, “The pandemic essentially crushed all that and now we’re slowing trying to build back up.”
A poet once said: Wires, gadgets everywhere, nor any unit to compute…Or something like that, right? Well, that’s not the culture I find being cultivated at Free Geek. Human connection is vital for healthy communities. Tools for remote connection are important for the survival of small businesses and long-time legacies; we know this, especially during hard times.
As a local community organization, Free Geek Vancouver seeks to reuse technology, enable digital access and provide hands-on education and meaningful volunteer opportunities. Movement is poetic and while carefully navigating through stacks of organized donations, the team at Free Geek Vancouver is supporting the Right to Repair movement and fostering a circular system. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
Singing mermaid, poet, or geek? Like any person walking on the street; our tech devices deserve many lives. Free Geek is helping individuals, businesses, organizations, and our planet, stick around, stay connected, and much more.
You can find low-cost computers and other devices on their NEW online computer retail store
Donation hours: Wed-Sat, 11 am – 5 pm
- Wires & cables
- Audio equipment
- Drawing Tablets (Wacom or similar)
- Electric music instruments
- Computers – working or non-working*
- Computer parts
- LCD/LED monitors**
- Laptops (please attach the laptop power supply with masking tape/rubber bands if possible)
- Keyboards and mice
- Smartphones and cell phones
- Game consoles, cartridges and accessories (Atari, Nintendo, Sega, etc.)
Things not accepted:
- Loose hard drives and enclosures
- Light bulbs
- CRT monitors*
- Kitchen appliances
- Smoke detectors
- General appliances