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AP/Statesman Journal: Group Saves Planet One Geek at a Time

Feb 25, 2004, 22:00 (3 Talkback[s])

"Oso Martin had a dream: Collect old computers, teach volunteers to fix them, give the good ones to good causes and make sure the rest are responsibly recycled.

"He made that dream come true when he launched Free Geek on Earth Day 2000.

"There were times, especially in the first year, when Free Geek almost didn't get off the ground. Finding people willing to donate old computers wasn't the problem. Paying for a place to store and refurbish them was. At one point, Free Geek owed $12,000 in back rent.

"Today, Free Geek not only is current on its rent, it has expanded its space twice. The organization occupies an old building that stretches across a southeast Portland city block. Last year, when Oregon employers were either laying people off or locked in a hiring freeze, Free Geek boosted its staff from six to 13 and added four paid internships..."

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