Goodwill Offers Good Deals on Computers and Accessories

By: Claire Kellett, Anchor/Reporter

IOWA CITY - An economical trend these days seems to be buying used items. Many shoppers head to Goodwill for used clothes, but now they can buy used computers and accessories. It's called Goodwill Reboot. The new program in eastern Iowa helps people who need a computer but can't afford to pay full price.

Goodwill Reboot is a saving grace for used computers and all the gadgets and gizmos that make them work.

"In a green sort of way, it's a green, green project," says Leanne Sommers of Goodwill of the Heartland.

Goodwill of the Heartland refurbishes donated computers and accessories and sells them to customers at a much lower price.

"All kinds of customers...low-income people to businesses coming in buying laptops and computers," says Rob Packingham, a Goodwill Reboot Technician.

Roger Brown's computer just broke. He and his wife stopped by Goodwill Reboot with plans to simply browse, not buy.

"First it was just looking, now it's purchasing," says Brown.

The Browns bought a used desktop. Roger guesses they saved about $500 buying used instead of new. While Roger opted for the desktop, Goodwill Reboot technicians say the hottest item is the laptop.

"People come in and buy them like water. They go so quick," says Packingham.

That has the technicians working extra hard to get the laptops ready to sell, but they don't mind because the money goes directly to Goodwill's mission.

"You are helping someone who has barriers to success, barriers to independence to have a chance at getting some level of independence because of the services we offer," says Sommers.

Goodwill Reboot gives used computers a second chance, but more importantly, it gives people with disabilities a chance to succeed.

Goodwill Reboot technicians wipe all of the hard drives clean to U.S Department of Defense standards, so no one has to worry about their personal information being exposed. They recycle all items that can't be used.

You can donate computers and any accessories, including software, keyboards, printers, to any Goodwill of the Heartland locations, but the Goodwill Reboot store has one location on South First Avenue in Iowa City.
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