WATERVILLE, Maine — Afghan Special Operations who worked alongside U.S. troops during the war in Afghanistan are getting help transitioning to life in the states through a nonprofit based in Waterville.
Give IT. Get IT. is a nonprofit started in 2002 by Chris and Jodi Martin, who saw a need to refurbish used computers, which normally have sensitive data and chemicals that can't be disposed of like normal trash.
"I could get all kinds of material into the hands of people who need it," Martin said.
Taking computers and other technological machines from banks and companies, Martin's team breaks down the computers and rebuilds them with empty disks and drives; also repairing any tear and wear before giving them to a client at a low price.
Many of the clients are low-income people, single parents, nontraditional students, and specifically, veterans.
Give IT. Get IT. announced in October it is working with Honor the Promise to dish out 87 refurbished laptops to Afghan Special Operations veterans.
Abdul Matin Populsi, who lived in Afghanistan until the capital city Kabul was taken by the Taliban, relocated to Portland. He is a recipient of the Give IT. Get IT. program and helped through Honor the Promise.
He spoke with NEWS CENTER Maine through a translator and said he needed a laptop to get a job and communicate with family while in Maine.
"In the U.S., having a computer, a car and a cellphone is everything," he said.
Since 2002, Give IT. Get It. said it helped more than 16,000 people get connected with refurbished technology.
Companies in Maine or in New England can partner with the nonprofit here.
You can learn more about Honor the Promise and its work with U.S. Special Operations here.