You’ve just traded in your old TV for a newer, bigger model, and had a professional install it along with a surround-sound system. Ever wonder what to do with that older display? Sure, you could stash in the basement or den, but consider donating it to a worthy cause instead. Many custom electronics (CE) pros work with local charities to provide electronic equipment to homes, hospitals and other places free of charge.
Evolution Home Theatre in San Diego, for example, installs gear donated by its clients into the homes of military families. The program is run through the San Diego YMCA, and this year nearly 400 families were nominated, according to Evolution president Shawn Worst. Of the 400 nominees, seven families were selected. On Christmas morning each of the selected families received a 50-inch plasma TV and a Blu-ray Disc player. “My crew donates their time to install the system, too” says Worst. “It’s been a really rewarding experience.”
On the other side of the country, Suwanee, Ga.,-based Link Your House has partnered with lighting and home control manufacturer Lutron to help the homeless. As part of an auction held by The Furniture Bank, a charity that provides furniture to families who are moving out of homeless shelters, Link Your House supplied a fully-installed, whole-house Lutron RadioRA2 lighting and climate control system. The system was auctioned for about $1,500, which Link Your House and Lutron donated entirely to The Furniture Bank. Additionally, Link Your House and Lutron made personal contributions so that three underprivileged children would be given beds.
St. Jude’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., has benefited from the generosity of Sound Concepts, Jonesboro, Ark. In seven years, the company has donated eight TVs, home theater packages, and their time to set up the equipment. For the annual gala Sound Concepts also provides free of charge a video projector, screen, PA system and microphones.
Superstorm Sandy was the impetus for The Home Theater Source, New York, N.Y., to provide backup generators to homes and businesses in and around the city. Prior to the hurricane, Puma and his crew bought more than 100 backup batteries from a local electronics store. They sold the gear at cost, only charging clients for the installation time …at a cut rate. “Those customers probably ended up saving thousands of dollars on electronics that would have otherwise been lost,” says Puma.
Check out these two home audio/video installations by Evolution Home Theatre:
Theater with Two Times the Speakers
Outdoor Deck with Pop-up TV
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.