Katie, What a good idea lending the machines. I have bought 5 on eBay for very little $25 to $30 bucks each, the shipping was usually the same as the pruchase price.
I think it would be wonderful for folks who enjoy computers and churches to organize a computer fixit club, to take in old donated machines, try to get them running under Phoenix, or PCLinuxOS, and give or for a low donation (for parts, memory, etc) people in their congregation (or elsewhere) who cannot afford a machine. I gave one I had away, much more powerful than mine to my church, I run a littel P3 with 384 mem and a 40 gig drive. That unit at home, runs wonderfully and fits my needs as an older person. The other one, the one I gave, when to my church for their office, I took the office machine home to switch to linux for folks to do resume and searches on.
It's nice to be close to retirement, I have little cash for traveling, but time (when not job searching) to help friends and new friends in my community.