By Lt. Phil Messerli, Administrative Assistant/PIO
Ironwood State Prison (ISP) recently donated 100 cellular phones to Cell Phones for Soldiers, a nonprofit group that turns donated cell phones into free communications for U.S. military personnel stationed around the world.
The donation, ISP’s second to the group, was a result of the ISP staff’s stopping the flow of contraband phones into the institution.
“It is a great pleasure to be able to help our servicemen and women stay in touch with their loved ones while serving our nation,” said Warden David B. Long. “I am equally pleased that this donation and others like it – made possible by the diligence and continued efforts of the staff at Ironwood to prevent the flow of contraband and providing something positive for our troops”.
Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded in 2004 and has provided more than 181 million minutes of free talk time to service men and women.
In addition to assisting our service men and women with free talk time while deployed around the world, Cell Phones for Soldiers has also started Helping Heroes Home, which provides emergency funds for returning veterans to alleviate communication challenges as well as physical, emotional and assimilation hardships.
Approximately half of all phones donated to the charity are reconditioned and reused.
The phones that are beyond repair are processed through “Mindful eCycling,” which dismantles and responsibly recycles them to reclaim materials including:
• Gold, silver and platinum from circuit boards
• Copper wiring from phone chargers
• Nickel, iron, cadmium and lead from battery packs
Every $5 from these donated phones and/or components provides two and a half hours of free talk time to deployed troops. The funds raised from recycling inoperable cellular phones are used to purchase prepaid international calling cards.
On average, Cell Phones for Soldiers distributes 12,000 calling cards each week to bases around the world, care-package programs, deployment ceremonies and Veterans Administration hospitals.
Caption: ISP donated 100 cell phones to help United States military personnel serving around the world.