Will Bumpus noticed a strange disconnect when the pandemic hit LA last year. As students scrambled to acquire computers, desks, and chairs needed to learn remotely, that same equipment was sitting idle in vacant offices nearby. Additionally, companies were giving employees stipends to build their home offices and upgrade their setup.
“There's tons of … underserved and underrepresented communities, specifically communities of color, that I think could really use and leverage all of that gear,” he says.
So he launched ReWerk, a nonprofit that receives used or unwanted office and tech gear from companies and donates it to schools and nonprofits.
Even as students and workers return to classrooms and offices, he says the need remains.
“I started to talk to companies that are ‘de-densifying’ their office space,” says Bumpus. “What I learned is that they have a ton of furniture, all of those nice sit-stand desks, those ergonomic chairs. ... It really was just going to be sitting idle.”
Twitter donated the contents of their entire San Jose office. Each quarter, Disney takes inventory of what’s available for donation. Blizzard donated gaming consoles and headsets that were going to be used for a canceled tournament to a school in Crenshaw.
“I am very close to being a furniture baron of LA,” he says.
His dream, one day, is to help students learning on a donated laptop gain the coding and engineering skills to land a job at that same tech company.