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Free Geek: Volunteer and get a Free Computer

October 15, 2012



Free Geek depends on volunteers. In fact, we’ve had over 3000 volunteers since we opened in 2006. You don’t need computer experience because we’ll teach you everything you need to know. If you already have relevant skills, that’s great too!

Adoption Program

The Adoption Program is for people who want to volunteer for 24 hours in exchange for a computer.

Volunteer Internships

Volunteer internships represent longer-term commitments with more specialized responsibilities. Have a look at the available internships, or suggest your own.

Volunteer perks

  • Training, experience, and new skills
  • Meet a new community of interesting people
  • A free computer (after 24 hours of service)
  • 40% discount on most items in the thrift store

Volunteers working

Getting Started

All volunteers are required to complete an orientation before they start volunteering. No experience is required.

Orientations happen 3 times per week at Free Geek:

  • Wednesday at 4pm
  • Saturday at 2pm or 4pm


The orientation is about an hour long. You don’t need to phone ahead for an orientation; just show up. Please arrive on time so that you don’t interrupt the tour for others. It’s good to give yourself an extra few minutes to find Free Geek the first time 🙂

Volunteer Stations & Training

We take great pride in being able to teach our volunteers skill sets that are applicable in the real world. You will get to work with our amazing staff as well as other eager volunteers who are all waiting to share and learn new skills with you!

Here are some of the areas in which you can begin volunteering:


You get to see it all! Every piece of hardware that comes into Free Geek gets received at this station. You will quickly learn categories of hardware and how to identify them. As well as get to see all of the really interesting and strange items that make their way through our doors. Legend has it that it is not uncommon to see the original IBM PC 5150 come through the door.


This is the first stop for computer towers and desktops. Volunteers evaluate these items and determine whether they are reusable or recyclable. By using a hands-on approach, we will teach you about the various components inside the computer, and how to test the basic functionality!


Learn how to build computers from their basic components. We teach you how to assemble and test the hardware, and then how to install an Operating System. It’s exciting and challenging work that may not be for everyone, but has one of the richest educational rewards Free Geek has to offer. We have some great build volunteers that makes this area a fun and dynamic place to build and hone your computer skills.


Do you enjoy the fast pace a retail store has to offer? Free Geek offers volunteer positions for those who are looking for real retail experience in a computer store. Assist customers, answer questions, build solutions… these are some of the challenging tasks at which you will become proficient.

Buy Computer Hardware

Thrift Store

The Free Geek Thrift Store sells refurbished computers and computer-related parts and peripherals at discount prices. To contact the store, call 604-879-4335 (ext. 1) during our business hours. We are located on the 2nd floor (front entrance) of the Free Geek Vancouver facility.

We cannot guarantee the availability of anything, nor can we hold items without full payment. We accept CASH ONLY.

Are you looking for a hard-to-find or specialized item? We just might have it on our Freesoterica page.

Warranty / Returns

Buyers are encouraged to research items and compatibility before purchasing. We will exchange items within 7 days of purchase if they are defective, but not simply because they are incompatible.

We can not offer any tech support in the store. Customers are encouraged to attend Open Help Night for help with their Linux-based computers and peripherals.

We can not offer returns for cash under any circumstances.

Wholesale Accounts

We can accommodate large-quantity purchasers and standing orders for our excess stock. Email to discuss your needs and apply for Net-30 payment terms.

Film Prop & Set Decoration

Are you looking for a specific vintage of computer equipment? Do you need 20 identical monitors? Email with your requirements.

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