Last week, I organized a day of service for the Cambridge office employees at the World Computer Exchange headquarters. Several people in the Cambridge office had expressed an interest in applying their existing technical skills and knowledge in a volunteer capacity. After some searching, I connected with the World Computer Exchange, and I knew it would be the perfect place for a day of service.
World Computer Exchange refurbishes used computers and sends them abroad to schools and community organizations in the developing world. Their mission is to improve access to technology amongst children in the poorest of communities around the globe. Their need for volunteers is critical. They rely on volunteers with technical skills to diagnose and repair computers and to pre-load computers with Linux and educational software. Luckily for me, they also need non-technical volunteers to help organize equipment and palletize for shipping.
Fifteen volunteers from the Cambridge office participated, and we had a great cross-section from all different departments within the office. One of the best aspects of service days is being able to meet new people and bond through teamwork. The World Computer Exchange Director, Timothy, pronounced us to be the most efficient group of volunteers they ever hosted. Several computers, even some that had been pronounced dead, were brought back to life thanks to our very skillful volunteers!
We also assembled four pallets of equipment that will be shipped to schools and orphanages in Tanzania. I am so proud of all that we were able to accomplish in one day, and I am already planning another day of service in the near future. Many of the Cambridge office employees who missed out on this day have been asking when the next one will be so that they can be sure to join. I am also so grateful to the VMware Foundation for providing us with five days each year to apply towards volunteer work. It is a wonderful thing to give back, and I know many people were especially pleased to be giving back in a way that utilized their existing skill sets so effectively.