Congratulations to AFTRR for another successful national conference!

AFTRR members have recently returned from the third national conference organized by the National Cristina Foundation in coordination with its AFTRR community. AFTRR , the Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse, was formed as a National Cristina Foundation community in 2016. AFTRR member organizations are partners of the Cristina Network. There are currently 80 nonprofit technology refurbishers registered in the AFTRR community, which was established to target the elimination of the Digital Divide as their ultimate goal.

A special thank you to Dave Sevick, the executive director of Cristina Network partner, Computer Reach for his wonderful support in helping to coordinate the conference. We were pleased that Scot Henley, National Cristina Foundation’s new Executive Director, was able to attend. Scot looks forward to working closely with AFTRR in support of its further growth and development.

All of us working together in the Cristina Network believe that access to computers and related technology is essential for acquiring the skills needed to succeed in a digitally connected world. AFTRR member organizations, as all of the partners in the Cristina Network, vary widely in size, organizational model, populations served, and staffing and related resources. Extending the life cycle of previously used technology helps our environment and creates low cost wonderful tools for training. Refurbisher support within member organizations include professional technicians, staff who have acquired technology skills, and volunteers whom they train, all gain the ability to disassemble and reassemble equipment designated for refurbishing.

The conference was held at Google’s impressive Chicago office on June 13 and 14. In support of NCF’s mission, Google generously donated the meeting space and meals. The various panel discussions by AFTRR members shared their expertise about topics such as computer refurbishment, distribution and support. A featured guest was Kyle Wiens , Editor in Chief of iFixit. iFixit is a wiki-based site that teaches people how to fix almost anything. He produces free repair manuals. Kyle thinks ”technology will make life on earth dramatically better if we take the care to do it right.” All enjoyed the opportunity to network and share promising practices with their peers.

AFTRR is just three years old, but many of the members of the Alliance have been involved in nonprofit refurbishing for decades as members of the Cristina Network. They would welcome hearing about sources of used equipment in your area of the country that companies might donate. The involvement of AFTRR members could increase your options to obtain donations of serviceable equipment and could benefit as well the work of the AFTRR member. Check the locations of all members on the AFTRR map. Contact information is provided or NCF can help you with an introduction.