Two Dayton women have become dedicated to helping soldiers just by recycling old cell phones. Dorothy Wingard and Janis Bricker became involved with the Cell Phones for Soldiers scheme, which aims to recycle used cell phones in exchange for prepaid calling cards which are then given to soldiers who have been deployed in foreign countries, enabling them to call their loved ones back home, around two years ago and have since become addicted to the cause, being responsible for the recycling of more than twelve hundred old cell phones between them.
“It doesn’t take much effort,” says Wingard. “We gather cell phones from people willing to donate them and bag the phones and accessories together for shipping.” Every old cellular phone they recycle results in a soldier being given one sixty minute international calling card. “Every single person that donated a cell phone helped a soldier.” Wingard also says that they are not doing anything that any other ordinary person would not be capable of doing and urges others to get involved. “We’ve only been collecting old cell phones in the Dayton Valley – just think how many phone cards could be provided if every community did this,” she notes. “Just think of the impact there would be if every community did this.”
“The program helps families stay connected,” says Bricker.
Similar programs to help soldiers on deployment in foreign countries include Hugs From Home, which sends soldiers – including those with no families – packages, including cell phones, on Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter and in the summer.