As suggested by others I have decided to start a fund raising project to help buy a replacement computer. At first I wanted to use a website like kickstarter.com (US only) but then I found out about a few others that are internationl fundraising sites, such as indiegogo.com. which is the one I ended up going with.
I now have my own project set up there which is running for a month and a half and will try to raise $1500 to replace my old computer that died last week unexpectedly. In exchange for donations you will receive various levels of rewards.
Check out the project page for all the details