Thirty-year-old Eric Zimmerman loves computers, and finding out that dozens are tossed aside, gave him an idea.
“People were throwing out computers left and right, so I decided to take the computers that people were throwing out and came up with the idea of putting them in the homes of people with special needs,” explained Eric Zimmerman, founder of the Buddy Project.
In 2007, Zimmerman created the Buddy Project, a non-profit that refurbishes old computers for people with disabilities.
“Some individuals, they, surprisingly, they have no other access into what’s going on in the world, so giving them a computer, and giving them internet access, it’s really helped and been a lifeline for many people,” said Zimmerman.
Zimmerman has autism, and wanted to not only provide those like him with a computer, but help volunteers learn how to fix them up.
It can sometimes take volunteers up to eight hours from start to finish to complete a fully refurbished computer.
Every computer Zimmerman and his volunteers refurbish is donated to the non-profit.
“We are constantly picking up from people, we go all over the place, D.C., Baltimore, Hagerstown…People usually call and donate electronics or computers,” explained David Zimmerman, coordinator for the Buddy Project.
And so far Eric has been able to help more than 400 clients receive a refurbished computer.