Day 21 of 30 Days/30 Ways to Give: CELL PHONES FOR CHARITY

Most of us get a snazzy new phone just by renewing our cell phone contract every couple of years. But we also throw out almost 130 million cell phones each year! Discarded cell phones account for nearly 65,000 tons of toxic waste annually.

Next time, don’t toss your old phone—Not only is it bad for Mother Earth, but that phone still has life in it.  Give it a second chance.

Call Forwarding
The Wireless Foundation’s Call to Protect program (calltoprotect.org) reprograms old phones with emergency numbers and shelter information and distributes them to women at risk of domestic violence. You can drop off your old phone at any Body Shop or visit the group’s website for other drop-off locations.

PetSmart’s Recycle for Life (petsmartcharities.org/donate) accepts cell-phone donations to raise money for homeless animals.
Cell Phones for Soldiers (cellphonesforsoldiers.com), the brainchild of two Massachusetts teenagers, collects used cell phones, sells them for parts, and uses the money to buy phone-card minutes for soldiers overseas. A program that started with $21, Cell Phones for Soldiers is now collecting nearly fifty thousand cell phones a month.
HopeLine, which was started by Verizon Wireless in 1995, collects donated phones to refurbish. They go to victims of domestic violence through agencies or are sold to raise money for these groups. The ones that can’t be salvaged are disposed of in an eco-friendly manner.

As you can see, there are a lot of groups out there that you can work with, to make a difference in the lives of others. Whatever organization you choose to help, you can be sure that your old cellular phones are put to good use. It’s easy and you know that it’s the right thing to do.
Tip: Make sure the collection company has a “no landfill” policy so you know your phone won’t simply end up trashed. Also consider buying a refurbished phone instead of a new one when upgrading.