About a month ago, I decided to get a new phone for the business so that I could accept credit cards at home shows and such. I had to go with a particular blackberry. My first blackberry. I really have had no need for one before this, so I've always gotten the cheapo phones that they give you money back for after you buy them.
Anyway, my husband and I went to the cell phone store and talked to them. Turns out they were having a buy one get one free offer. I was thrilled! My husband could get the same phone for free! He, however saw no need for a free phone. I tried to convince him, but to no avail.....
Two weeks later, after the offer had expired, he ran a few errands and when he came home he couldn't find his phone anywhere. The next day I called every place he had been and no one else knew where it was either. That night I was taking the kids to run some errands and my son said, "Hey, here's Dad's phone!", in the driveway.... I knew it had been raining, but didn't know if the protective cover protected it enough. I opened it and it looked fine but when I turned it on, a few glimmers of light showed up through significantly cracked glass. Oops! All I could do was laugh. I called my husband and told him I had good news, bad news and even greater news.
Good news - your phone has been found! Bad news - you ran it over with your truck! Greater news - now you get another phone! Only catch is you have to BUY it this time!! So, the next day he begrudgingly went to the cell phone store, AGAIN, and bought his new cell phone!
Here's the question...What are we going to do with the phone that has been run over by the truck? Donate it! I found this great website called Phones4Freedom, a program initiated by Survivors Connect, an organization dedicated to stopping human trafficking. Here's how it works.
- Print out a shipping label from here.
- Deactivate your phone and leave the batteries in it. Clear your personal data. Here's a great and easy way to find out how, specific to your cell phone.
- Put the phone in a padded envelope/box and paste the shipping label on.
- Drop in any US post office box. The end! Completely free. Completely easy!
What good does this do?
"By Donating to Phones4Freedom, Survivors Connect will earn "points" or "credits" to purchase the appropriate mobile equipment for Helpline SMS anti-trafficking networks. The average donated phone in the US will allow us to purchase 2-3 phones.
As advocates [for those who have been trafficked] travel from cities to do outreach education to isolated/vulnerable regions, they often remain disconnected from those who are in critical need of regular communication. The mission of Survivors Connect Helpline SMS Teams is to advance anti-trafficking networks in underserved communities using innovative mobile technology. Helpline SMS Networks consist of: NGOs, legal advocates, social service providers, law enforcement, and other key stake holders who act as first responders in a trafficking case. The Helpline SMS Network is able to use this mobile network to regularly stay in touch with rural communities vulnerable to human trafficking, provide regular updates and information at a low cost, and respond to emergencies and prevent trafficking. We're using Frontline SMS, a free open-source platform that enables large-scale, two-way text messaging using only a laptop, GSM modem and inexpensive cell phones." (http://www.phones4freedom.org/about.php)
You can also send in old laptops, MP3 players, digital cameras, camcorders and gaming systems. Just use the same shipping label. My mother in law can finally get rid of all her computers!
This gives purpose to recycling for me now. Now I'm almost glad my husband ran over his cell phone!