How the Organization Got Started
Ray Norman worked for a West Coast networking company. During his travels with the company, he found an area of Pennsylvania where he considered living. After being let go from his job due to downsizing, Ray found a job at Free Geek in Oregon, owned by Oso Martin, who had started the organization in his living room. When Ray eventually moved to Ephrata, Pennsylvania, he started Free Geek Penn in his garage. He gave computers to refugees in the Ukraine, to political refugees running from atrocities in Africa during a military coup, and to many others in need. He even gave computers as Christmas gifts to those who couldn't afford them. Ray ran out of room quickly; within a year's time he went from his garage to Free Geek Penn's current location, a 4,000 square foot office that had to grow again in its first three months, now filling 4,800 square feet with recycled computer parts. After some personal problems, Ray had to return to the West Coast, but he left behind a great place for people to work. Thanks to volunteers, Free Geek Penn continues where Ray left off.
Free Geek Penn is a small company, but our work quadrupled in the first year. Local newspapers and several of the TV stations have been kind to us, and we hope that this liaison will continue in the future. We know that there is a need for Free Geek Penn; no one loses, everyone wins—even future generations. With all the young people who come to work for us, we hope to influence a trend toward recycling, keeping our planet safe from "pollution by computer."
We extend an invitation to everyone to come in and see us; we'll be glad to show you around. We're located at 400 West Main Street, Ephrata, PA 17522. Send us email and let us know your thoughts. All suggestions and responses are welcome.