Cell Phones for Soldiers graciously accepts donations of unwanted cell phones and cell phone accessories 365 days a year. The charity accepts cell phones that are broken, brand-new, gently-used, hardly used, and everything in between! Because of these generous donations from supporters, the charity is able to provide free prepaid international calling cards to U.S. troops abroad so that they can stay connected with loved ones. But how do these cell phones, even ones that are very old or broken, help troops call home? Does Cell Phones for Soldiers send the donated cell phones directly to troops to use? How does it work?
Donated cell phones are refurbished or recycled.
All cell phones donated to Cell Phones for Soldiers are either sold to an electronic refurbisher or a recycler. Once the charity receives a donated cell phone, the device is quickly wiped of all personal information and checked to see if it is repairable. A cell phone that is repairable is sold to an electronic refurbisher who will repair the device and resell it in the aftermarket. However, cell phones that are either too old or completely broken are sold to recyclers who strip the devices of any salvageable components and/or rare metals and then responsibly recycle the remaining parts.
Proceeds from cell phones are used to buy calling card for troops.
The funds raised through selling or recycling cell phones are used to purchase calling cards for servicemen and women. The charity is able to buy hundreds of thousands of calling cards each year for our troops.
Why not send donated cell phones directly to our troops?
It is a common misnomer that Cell Phones for Soldiers sends donated cell phones directly to deployed troops. Why is this not a viable option? First and foremost, cell phones can be security hazards for military members in combat zones. Also, the cost of international phone calls using a cell phone is very high, making this option extremely cost prohibitive. In addition, a majority of the cell phones received by the charity do not have international calling capabilities.
More than 204 million minutes of free talk time provided in the last 10 years!
Through this tried-and-true process of turning millions of unwanted cell phones into free talk time for U.S. troops abroad, Cell Phones for Soldiers has provided more than 204 million minutes of free talk time. For a decade, connecting military personnel with family has made a positive impact in the lives of deployed servicemen and women.