Program refurbishes computers for people with disabilities

INDATA volunteer refurbishes computers. (WTHR Staff)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Spring is in full swing, which means it's a good time to clean out things you don't use anymore.

If you find some old electronics, there's a non-profit in Indianapolis that could give your stuff new life.

Volunteers at the INDATA depot are in charge of helping recycle electronics, erasing whatever data comes on each device, so it can be used by someone new.

"We have computers, laptops, video magnifiers and tablets," said Tracy Castillo, who is the reuse technician.

All those things that get refurbished end up back in the community and with a purpose.

Some of the people doing the work can relate with the ones they're helping.

"We work with individuals that have disabilities and we work to create computers that can go back out to the community for people with disabilities who don't have access to computers or other types of assistive technology," said Castillo.

"It's just a really wonderful feeling to be able to help individuals and know I can make a difference," said Ryan Rahebi, a volunteer.

Lora Buchanan, who is one of their volunteers, has been on the receiving end of the program. The computer programmer had a stroke two years ago and could barely look at a screen. Now, she's working on the computers to get them ready for the next phase of the process.

"It's nice to work somewhere there is a cause and there's a common goal," said Buchanan.

After adding storage and getting them in working order, organizers meet with people who need the devices. They also show them how their equipment works. It's a rewarding process, but they're always looking for more electronics so they can help more people.

"This winter we had record numbers of people volunteering and on top of that, we're giving out record numbers of computers," said Castillo.

They hope to keep growing in the future.

If you want to donate electronics to the program, you can call 1-888-466-1314. You can also find more information here.