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New iPhone owners, recycle your old phone for a good cause
by Kathryn Robbins on June 25, 2010
Thousands of people got lucky yesterday and can say that they now own the hottest gadget on the planet, the new iPhone. Now that you’ve got the latest and greatest from Apple, what should you do with your old cell phone? There are a lot of worthy organizations that could use your old phone to generate needed funds or even help a child in the classroom.
Cell Phones for Soldiers is a non-profit founded by a two Massachusetts teens who wanted to help service members call home. Their idea was born out of a story about a soldier that racked up an $8,000 cell phone bill by calling his family back in the US. By selling donated phones to a recycling company, Cell Phones for Soldiers gains funds to buy phone cards for service men and women. So far, the non-profit has donated over 500,000 phone cards to troops overseas. Donations can be made through the mail or at over 40,000 drop off centers nationwide.
Many domestic violence organizations use the sale of donated phones to pay for needed services or provide cell service for those in need. In 2009 alone, Verizon’s HopeLine Program gave out over 23,000 phones and 69 million free minutes of service to individuals and organizations via the sale of refurbished phones. To date, the HopeLine Program has kept over 200 tons of e-waste out of landfills. Any used cell phone can be mailed to Verizon or dropped off at one of their retail stores.
Call To Protect has generated over $3.5 million from refurbished phone sales and gives 100% of their earnings in the form of grants to organizations that are working to end family violence. Donated phones can be mailed to Call To Protect or dropped off at a location in your state.
App developer Steve Glinberg has developed a program to give old iPhones and iPods a second life as educational tools. He takes the unloved gadgets, restores them to factory state, and loads them with useful educational apps. One teacher reported that the donation made a world of difference with some autistic students and wrote, “to see them talk or babble for the first time after using an iPod Touch and the verbal behavior approach teaching is truly amazing.” Additional information about the donation process is available on Glinberg’s blog.
You may be tempted to post your old phone on eBay or even CraigsList, but there is a financial upside to donating your phone. Many organizations like Call To Protect offer tax receipt forms do you can get some cash back when you file your taxes.