info@freesource.org 314.833.9901

Tech Support Café

FreeSource is excited to partner with the Thomas Dunn Learning Center to launch Tech Support Café, a program in which people gather to help each other to solve problems relating to technology and to build skills, self confidence, and community!

Tech Support Café is a recurring event at which  participants can receive free technical assistance and peer mentorship from volunteer I.T. professionals in a welcoming, friendly, accessible workshop atmosphere.

Absolutely everybody is invited to attend, but you might find this program especially worthwhile if you:

  • Have a gadget (e.g. smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, etc.) that's not working right and you'd like some help fixing it
  • Would like help learning about a particular aspect of how your gadget works
  • Have an interest in learning common techniques for troubleshooting tech issues
  • Have an interest in fostering digital inclusion and reducing electronic waste

Program Goals

In creating this program, FreeSource hopes to:

  • Foster digital inclusion by providing opportunities for individuals to build skills relating to technological repair and maintenance.
  • Remove technical barriers to self-actualization by providing opportunities for individuals to troubleshoot malfunctioning devices at no monetary cost.
  • Foster a greater understanding of the effects of electronic waste in regard to human rights and the environment, and reduce said waste by providing opportunities to fix malfunctioning and damaged equipment, as well as discover new uses for ostensibly obsolete equipment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do you hold this event?

At this time, we’re still trying to figure that out! Once we’re able to determine the level of demand for this event, we’ll have a better idea of how often they should take place.

How many issues can you assist me with during an event?

You can feel free to request assistance with multiple issues, however, each issue will be looked at separately and there won’t necessarily be time to assist with everything during a single event. We’ll do the best we can.

Are there any rules or limitations?

So glad you asked! Here’s a list of terms and conditions to which you must agree in order to receive assistance.

What if I need a replacement part to make my device work again?

If we determine that your device requires a replacement part (or parts) and we do not have a suitable replacement available, we will be pleased to assist you in determining which part(s) you need, then direct you to visit an online or local vendor to procure the part(s) yourself. Once the part is procured, you can contact the FreeSource Help Desk to make arrangements initiate the repair.

We are making efforts to pursue funding to be able to provide grants for assisting with replacement part purchases, however, we’re not quite there yet. If we have funds available, we’ll see what we can do to help.

I’m pretty good with tech stuff. Can I volunteer to help out?

Heck yeah! We’re always looking for technical volunteers to increase our capacity to help people. Feel free to e-mail us at info@freesourcestl.org for more information.

I’m not very good with tech stuff. Can I still volunteer?

Of course! In addition to technical volunteers, we also need relational volunteers to help out with our guest intake process as well as other logistical aspects of the event. We’re also looking for technical volunteer apprentices - individuals who don’t have a ton of tech support experience but would like to learn by shadowing technical volunteers. In either case, feel free to e-mail us at info@freesourcestl.org if you’re interested!

I don’t really have time to volunteer but I still want to help out. What can I do?

Thank you so much for asking! We’re always grateful for any in-kind or monetary donations you might see fit to provide. In-kind donations of tools or computer parts can help us to effect repairs, and monetary donations can help defray the cost of purchasing specific replacement parts. You can learn more about our needs by visiting our Donation page.

I represent a local community organization that helps people with stuff, and we would love to host a Tech Support Café. Would you consider partnering with us?

Yes - that would be awesome! Please e-mail us at info@freesourcestl.org and we can discuss the possibility of working together.