How to get started
- Every Saturday before orientation from 12:15pm to 12:45pm Free Geek has an introduction to computer hardware class where volunteers can learn the bare basics of computer hardware (ex. names of major computer components and their purpose). This is mostly a class for people new to computer hardware. People who know the names of computer components and their purpose can skip this intro class and go directly to orientation.
- A new Volunteer Orientation is every Saturday at 1pm! No appointment is needed. Simply come on Saturday at 1pm and after 30-45 minutes orientation you can start volunteering.
If you have question about volunteering, send us a question via the Contact form.
Our normal volunteer hours are:
- Wednesday: noon to 5 pm
- Saturday: noon to 5 pm
- Sunday: noon to 5 pm
Anyone is welcome — volunteers are not required to have any previous experience, although your experience level may determine what type of tasks you will do at Free Geek (for example, if you don’t have any computer knowledge, you will start in our recycling department and once you learn about computer components you can move on to our refurbishing department). Volunteers of any age are welcome, but if you are under 16 years old we ask that you come in with a parent or other adult.
Hands on Experience with IT
There are many reasons people choose to spend their time at Free Geek. Absolutely no previous experience is required for new volunteers — everyone is welcome. Volunteering in our Recycling, Test or Build areas can be a rich opportunity for hands-on education which is in line with Free Geek’s mission of countering the digital divide. It’s also simply a chance to have a lot of fun and hang out with great people!
Free Geek is a great place to build work-related skills and job experience. Since Free Geek does not require any level of experience from new volunteers, it can be a great way to acquire a new set of skills. You’ll work with basic hardware components, PXE booting, and the various procedures used in our Recycling, Testing and Build rooms. Free Geek is also happy to help with job references for regular volunteers — just let us know if you’re interested in this when you come in and we’ll set you up with a supervisor who can give an informed recommendation.
Others come to Free Geek looking for a more regular and committed volunteer experience in the form of an internship. Some are fulfilling a requirement for a school or other institution, while others simply want to put their skills to use in a helpful and resume-building way. Check out our internship program for more information about this opportunity — anyone can intern!
And, of course, many volunteer simply because they think the work our organization is doing is important. With Free Geek, you can help make sure electronics are ethically recycled and provide organizations and individuals with access to affordable equipment. Check out our awesome Mission Statement and get involved!
In the past we’ve had groups of employees setting up such an event as an outing or to take advantage of company allocated volunteering time. We also had schools and colleges setting up event to give the students opportunity to learn more about computer hardware and to introduce the students to the concept of responsible recycling. The feedback we always get is that people had a lot of fun and learned at the same time!
We have an opportunity for a group of people (can be a group of employees, class of students, etc) to come volunteer and each group member can choose to:
* Take apart some electronic components – some groups prefer to work together on one large item, such as a large printer or old industrial computer; some groups prefer to work on individual tasks
* Learn how to refurbish a computer – this includes learning computer components, testing of components and installing Linux operating system
The event will start with a short orientation where staff will give a short intro to how the recycling / refurbishing process works in Free Geek and will give a tour of entire facility. Free Geek staff will be there to guide the group in the tasks they choose to do.
Available time is generally Thursday or Friday during Free Geek’s business hours (noon to 5pm).
To setup a group volunteering event, please send us a message through our Contact Form