Donate your Old Devices for the Holiday Season: Choosing a Charity January 02 2014


How many phones do you have in a box in your closet?  Be Honest.  Since technology has skyrocketed in terms of mobile communication, so has the electronic waste.  “Phone Hoarding,” as it is otherwise known, is the act of storing away one’s old devices to collect dust, thus allowing the product to slowly devalue.  What is the point?  It is the holiday season, and donating your unused mobile devices is an easy way to give back.

Cell phones are engineered with precious metals, which makes them highly recyclable.  In 2007 alone, over 14 million cell phones were recycled.  Despite that fact, it is estimated that only 10% of all old cell phones are actually donated to a good cause.  Although many providers make it easy for you to recycle your goods, why not make it charitable as well?  Here are three services to give back this season, and donate something that I bet you haven’t thought about, in a long time.


Cell Phone for Soldiers

This organization operates exactly how it sounds.  Thousands of people serve our country on a daily basis, yet have no means of contacting their loved ones in the states.  Cell Phones for Soldiers is a charity that helps to resolve that issue.  Established in 2004, over 200 million minutes have been donated to the cause.  Each gently used phone buys one hour of talk time for any active-duty military member.  You can either mail your phone, or choose from several drop-off locations.  The company is truly dedicated to providing cost-free communication services for everyone who is serving in the military, and protecting our country this holiday season.


National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)

The NCADV collects used phones to help support the end of domestic violence.  They partner with a company called Cellular Recycle that processes the equipment, and then sells it as refurbished.  A portion of all proceeds are donated to the NCADV.  In addition to cellphones, they also accept other forms of electronics, like laptops, cameras, and MP3 players.  To date, they have kept over 3 million phones out of the planet’s landfills and waste sites.  The coalition uses the funds to support legislation on domestic violence, fund programming to educate victims, and offer support and resources to organizations across the country.  For more information on their programs, e-mail 


The 911 Cell Phone Bank

In 2004, this company was formed to help supply emergency cell phones to participating law enforcement officials, as well as all affiliated victim services agencies.  The program also provides funding to non-profit organizations.  Community members are encouraged to collect at local events, and are equipped with all the materials to do so by the 911 Cell Phone Bank.  Agencies may make a request for the amount they need, which they can then redistribute to the community accordingly.  Some of their non-profit affiliates include: Security on Campus, WIFLE (Women in Federal Law Enforcement), and NOVA (National Organization for Victim Assistance).   

With the state of the economy often in flux, giving back has become a more challenging task for many people.  Whichever organization you choose, be it to give talk time to soldiers, end violence in the home, or help a local police officer, know that any little bit helps.  Cell phone donation is an often overlooked method of charity.  Don’t be a hoarder this holiday season.  Donate your unused and forgotten mobile device to help someone in need.  Since you probably just got that shiny new phone, don’t lose track of the old one.  If you throw it in a drawer, it could be gone and forever forgotten.  Upgrading your phone has never been so rewarding.