Getting rid of your old phone? Donate it to a soldier!

May 9, 2012, 6 a.m.

It seems as if every new piece of technology becomes obsolete soon after the box is opened. Luckily, the next time you upgrade a cell phone, the old phone can have new life helping soldiers who are stationed abroad. There are a number of programs that will recycle an old cell phone and use the profits to help soldiers make calls home.

One extremely successful program, Cellphones for Soldiers, has been helping deployed soldiers keep in touch with family since 2004. People donate unwanted cell phones by either dropping them off at collection centers or by mailing them in to the charity. Postage paid mailing envelopes are provided to donors free of cost. People can donate old cell phone accessories, as well. Cellphones for Soldiers sells the phones to recyclers who either refurbish the phones or break them down into useful components. Then, they use the profits from the phones to buy international phone cards that deployed soldiers can use to keep in touch with family and friends at home. For every $5 worth of donated materials they receive, Cellphones for Soldiers is able to give calling cards good for two and a half hours of talk time.

By donating an old cell phone instead of throwing it away, a person is able to prevent heavy metals and other toxins from entering the waste stream. And, by helping military members stay in touch with their families, they are able to help ensure that valuable relationships stay healthy and intact. Visit the website to find the nearest donation center.

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