KAKAAKO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - At Hawaiian Hope's tech center in Kakaako, tall stacks of computers wait to be cleaned, tested then repaired.
They'll eventually end up in the hands of schoolchildren, people in homeless shelters, and clean and sober houses, just to name a few.
"Part of the reason we give this stuff away is to give people other opportunities and other options in life," said Curtis Kropar, who founded Hawaiian Hope in 2005.
Right now, the nonprofit is storing 1,800 used computers in various stages of refurbishing.
It takes an average of two hours per computer to get them ready to donate.
"We've had people not understand what our complications are, and they say you shouldn't be warehousing the equipment. We're not," Kropar said.
The computers are kept at four separate sites. The bill for rent and storage eats up 71 percent of Hawaiian Hope's nearly $50,000 annual operating budget. Kropar desperately needs financial help to pay the storage bill.
"I don't know of any other nonprofits on the island that take in equipment and do the work themselves, refurbish it and get it into the community," he said.
The storage situation needs to be addressed because donations of used computers arrive at Hawaiian Hope's doorstep almost daily.
"We get one, two at a time, five at a time, ten at a time. But then we get the big ones, 200, 300, 400, 500." Kropar said.
He hates to say no, but he has had to turn down some donations because he has nowhere to put more computers and he can't afford to rent more storage space. It's tough enough to pay for the space he's renting right now.
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