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Gaithersburg company helps Rockville nonprofit recycle computers

Project Reboot refurbishes donated computers - Source Gaithersburg Gazette Samantha Schmieder Staff Writer

Rockville nonprofit Project Reboot, which provides inexpensive refurbished computers to those in need, is giving the gift of technology with the help from area donations, including a recent partnership with Gaithersburg-based IT services company designDATA.

Dennis Ruck, president of designDATA, and his son, vice-president Matt Ruck, explained that the company wanted to find a way to donate computers that their clients didn’t need anymore.

“The tech aspect of education is no longer an option, it’s a requirement to get their work done,” Matt Ruck said, explaining that students without computers are at a disadvantage.

The Rucks first looked at schools before finding out Project Reboot already existed and was exactly what they were looking for.

Project Reboot receives donated computers, refurbishes them, installs software and then sells them for $25 to families, nonprofits and schools, as well as others in need.

Matt Ruck explained that designDATA is a 36-year-old IT services company that hosts servers for businesses and nonprofits and helps them with day-to-day IT. Their Buyback Program works with businesses to buy back used computers to donate to Project Reboot.

“This is going to continue as we pick up clients for the new Agility Cloud program,” Matt Ruck said, adding that the designDATA cloud program works with companies to standardize all of their equipment and servers making repairs and IT run more smoothly.

Dennis Courtney is the president of the Capital PC User Group and one of the founders of Project Reboot. He explained that the nonprofit started in 1997 in a garage with a bunch of “retired guys” refurbishing computers wondering how doing this could help give back.

“Montgomery County Public School has been a huge supporter of ours for years,” Courtney said, adding that the facility Project Reboot uses is provided to them by MCPS.

Courtney said that the nonprofit sells the refurbished machines at the lowest cost possible to those who wouldn’t normally be able to afford one, only charging in order to pay for parts, licenses, utilities for the facilities and the occasional pizza for the hard-working, 100 percent volunteer staff.

“Just those kinds of expenses,” Courtney said. “We are not a money-making deal.”

Courtney said that their partnership has worked out well so far and designDATA is a good example of a company giving back locally.

“They wanted to be a little more responsible in their own neighborhood. One way to do it is by partnering with us. We always need sources,” Courtney said.