When you buy a new cell phone or laptop, what do you do with your old one?
These unwanted but still usable items could make a world of difference to others, and the latest New Yorker of the Week is bridging that gap. NY1's John Schiumo filed the following report.
Becky Morrison's passion is African dance. She's traveled to Guinea many times to study it, and she always wanted to give back to the people who brought her joy, even if meant doing an impossible favor at first.
"My best friend in Guinea, like, on my way to the airport, said, 'Hey, next year when you come, do you think you could bring me a laptop?' And I was like, 'What, are you crazy, dude? A laptop? That’s so expensive. I'm not bringing you a laptop,'" Morrison says.
Then one day, Becky asked friends on Facebook if they could help out. She didn't expect much, but the response was surprising.
"People were like, 'I have a laptop. I have two.' And I was like, 'Wow, there's something here, you know?'" she says. "There's obviously people with computers they're not using, and just from my travels to Guinea and to India and other places, I can see what a difference having a laptop can make."
So Becky connected the dots. She founded Globetops, a nonprofit that collects laptops and distributes them to people in the U.S., Haiti, India and Guinea.
Globetops select recipients who work in education, science or the arts and lack the resources to move forward with their initiatives.
"I want to do a thorough job with the kids' grades, but without a computer, it's hard," Mariama Bangoura, a teacher in Kindia, Guinea, said through an interpreter.
Before the computers are handed off, volunteers refurbish them. It's not an easy process, but it is meaningful.
"You do spend more time on an older computer getting it up and working, but it's worth it," says Carol Solinger, a volunteer computer technician. "The computers have life. It's something I can do and give back to the world."
"She had this company that I could give this thing that was literally lifeless to me, and for it to affect someone else's life in such a crazy, positive way, it's mind-blowing," says Dominique Andriese, who donated a laptop.
So, for giving new purpose to old technology, Becky Morrison is the latest New Yorker of the Week.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
To donate a laptop and for more information, visit globetops.com.