Houston non-profit giving away free, low cost computers for school

63,270 students are on the waiting list for a donated computer according to the Houston-based organization Comp-U-Dopt. The non-profit organization refurbishes and donates computers to students in need and has already given more than 8,000 computers to Houston area families this year.


"We are pretty much giving out everything we have left in our warehouse and we do still have a line of sight to supply through our other refurbishment partners that we've been working with since March," said Comp-U-Dopt CEO Megan Steckly. They need more computers and cash donated to help meet the demand."


Our cost per household is about $275 now to serve a family if we have to purchase a computer from one of our refurbishment partners. If the computers are donated, it only costs us $50 per household," said Steckly. Even though the waitlist is long, Steckly encourages families to sign up because it's a lottery and a gauge of the demand. "The more families we do have registered, the better case we can make for funding from partners and from community organizations," she explained. FAM Houston, faith-based non-profit helping immigrants, refugees, and local families, is also collecting computers to refurbish for students.  They need more computers and cash donations, too. 

Families can save money buying a refurbished laptop or computer from local stores, like Top Tech Experts. "You can save hundreds of dollars going that route, especially if you have multiple kids and you need two or three laptops," said Alex Diaz, owner of Top Tech Experts 

A refurbished laptop costs about half the price of a new one. "For laptops, we generally try to have some starting off under $200, $175, $195," said Diaz. He says refurbished desktop computers start at about $125.  If you already have a compatible tv monitor, that will save you $50.Updating an old computer you already own is even cheaper.

"Sometimes you can spend under $100 and be up and running and ready to go," said Diaz. National companies, such as Dell, Walmart, and Best Buy, sell refurbished computers at a discount, too. You'll also find them at Goodwill Houston's Computer Works.