Nonprofit Technology Refurbishers Eye Opportunity for Widespread Social Impact as Industry Giant Arrow Exits Market
MADISON, NEW HAMPSHIRE – August 29, 2019 – Millions of Americans are disconnected from an increasingly connected digital world. This is due to a variety of reasons, including lack of internet access and barriers to acquiring devices. This “digital divide” exists across the country, with rural and urban areas and those with limited incomes disproportionately impacted. The recently announced departure of Arrow (NYSE: ARW) from the information technology asset disposition (ITAD) space means that thousands of former Arrow clients will soon be searching for a new solution, presenting a tremendous opportunity to shrink the digital divide.
The Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse (AFTRR) is a national network of nonprofit technology refurbishers and a program of the National Cristina Foundation. These organizations operate in communities from coast to coast. AFTRR members provide those in need with access to free or inexpensive devices, resources for connecting to the internet, computer skills training, workforce development and ongoing support.
Many AFTRR members provide full ITAD services, and are built to handle anything from walk-in technology donations from individuals to enterprise-level corporate contracts. With game-changing social impact at stake, AFTRR extends an invitation to former Arrow clients to join our fight to close the digital divide and use AFTRR members for ITAD services.
“The choice to donate technology to close the digital divide,” said Daniel Bartholomew, Executive Director of Free Geek, a full-service ITAD solution and AFTRR member in Portland, Oregon, “is bottom line neutral, data responsible, and community positive.”
Gabe Middleton, Co-founder and CEO of Long Beach, California’s human-I-T agrees that former Arrow clients have an opportunity to help their communities by choosing the right ITAD vendor. “Since Arrow has already stopped accepting items, AFTRR would like Arrow’s former customers to know that they can go beyond responsibly recycling their devices, and use those items to make a social impact as well as an environmental one,” said Middleton. “human-I-T and AFTRR members have all of the resources in place to offer a comprehensive replacement of Arrow’s ITAD services,” said Middleton.
“We’ve seen first-hand what happens when you put refurbished technology back into the hands of those who need it the most: they do schoolwork online, they can apply for a job, they can access healthcare and financial services portals,” said Michael Abensour, Executive Director of Durham, North Carolina’s, Kramden Institute. “Any company or organization serious about helping their community should look to see what they’re doing with their used IT assets and look to AFTRR to get those machines redeployed and helping close the digital divide.”
“Truly closing the digital divide will take universal access to broadband, widespread computer literacy skills development, and greater availability of free or low-cost devices. Arrow’s departure from the disposition business means that thousands of companies are now forced to look for an alternative,” said Scot Henley, Executive Director of the National Cristina Foundation. “In total, there could be hundreds of thousands of used computers at play among former Arrow clients, computers that could be refurbished and used to help underserved communities, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and others in need.”
“We understand the importance of working with a responsible, viable, and fully certified electronics data destruction company,” said Middleton. “Our standards provide all our current and future customers reliable and complementary ITAD services, tax-deductible donation receipts, free nationwide pick-ups, and a clear conscience; our mission is to keep tech out of landfills and put it into the hands of those in need.”
Former Arrow clients seeking additional information are encouraged to visit aftrr.org or contact National Cristina Foundation Executive Director Scot Henley at 203-863-9100, ext. 370.