I’m taking a break from writing about retail marketing this week and instead I’m going to focus on a charity project. Please don’t stop reading just yet; I’m not planning to ask for donations or for anyone to sponsor my first marathon run. All I need is some smart ideas.
Let me quickly start by giving you the background so this posting makes sense. A few months ago, we decided that we should get rid of all the old PC’s that were starting to build up in the office. Without looking too hard, we found six or seven that weren’t needed. Rather than sending them away to be recycled, I knew of a charity that supported school children in Sri Lanka, helping them to graduate and providing extra tuition where they needed it. ‘Fine’ said the charity and gave us contact details for a courier who agreed to ship the PC’s to Sri Lanka at practically no cost
After a chance meeting with someone from Corporate Social Responsibility at BlackBerry, I was introduced to a team within Microsoft who agreed to provide us with free copies of Microsoft Office and MS Windows to load onto our donated machines. Only thing is; they gave us 1000 copies, so the project suddenly multiplied in size and ambition. With access to so much quality software, the Strand team thought it would be crazy to stop where we did. So Project Colombo (or PC – gedit?) was born and we put together a poster to promote it.
Enter our buddies.
Ping Pong offered to send us their old computers.
The Supper Club agreed to mention us to the members of their entrepreneurial network.
Dee at Telltale Travel offered to mention us in her newsletter.
We received the first call from a Supper Club member who wanted to send us some of his old PC’s.
So this is where you come in.
How do we make this project more successful? If you have old PC’s (or Macs) that you don’t need, please send them our way and we’ll load them with new software and despatch them to schools in Sri Lanka. If you’re based near London and have more than a couple to spare, we might be able to arrange collection.
However, you might be able to have an impact in other ways. If you have any great ideas to grow this project, please share them by commenting on this post, so it can inspire others to do the same. Anything would be appreciated- publicity, introductions, tweets, really anything that could help this grow. There’s an idea or an introduction out there somewhere to give us the boost we are looking for.
We’ve shipped the first six PC’s and would love to increase that number significantly.
Thanks, so far, to:
- The Rahula Trust– the charity behind the project
- Microsoft Authorised Refurbishers Programme
- Junk Junk – for organising collection in some areas
- For publicity: Tell Tale Travel, The Supper Club
I’ll update this list with any further contributions of expertise or equipment we receive.
21st April 2011: We’ve just sent our first shipment of PC’s to Sri Lanka:
27th May 2011: The Project Colombo page goes live on Facebook.
27th August 2011: We received some photos from the school selected for our first shipment.
If you have any PC’s to donate, please let us know.