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Posted on Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 9:30 a.m.

Student group organizes drive to collect 147 cell phones for soldiers

By Kody Klein

Students at South Arbor Charter Academy collected 147 cell phones in a donation drive for Cell Phones for Soldiers, a nonprofit organization that sends free cellphones and calling cards.


The Green Team collected 147 cell phones to donate to soldiers.

Melanie Maxwell I

In addition to the cellphones, the students collected 36 chargers and 49 other electronic devices.

The cellphones were collected through the week of Jan. 14, from parents who were picking up or dropping off their students and at two school events.

The drive was organized by the Academy's Green Team, a student group that formed at the start of the school year after the Academy set a goal to become a recognized Michigan Green School. The team comprises student council representatives and interested sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.



Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 5:22 p.m.

@Kyle Mattson, thank you for pointing me in the right direction! Will follow through. regards, Mady


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 11:32 p.m.

Soldiers get paid about 1,000 if not more a month, free room and board, and food yet cant afford a cell phone? I fully support the soldiers and all they do but I think that this is a ridiculous idea. Who wants a used old cell phone that you cant skype on and is liable to break? Makes no sense

Adam Betz

Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 2:36 p.m. above...they are recycling the phones, not giving the Joes old cellphones as a donation.

harry b

Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 6:12 p.m.

Why don't the soldier just buy a cell phonek if they want one? I wanted one so I bought it.

Adam Betz

Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 4:45 p.m.

Kyle, you're correct. When deployed military members pay for a cell phone contract, it often has to be a "world plan." These are very expensive but often worth the money while away so we don't have to wait in the lines for phones. It is really dependent on where one is stationed overseas though.

Kyle Mattson

Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 8:29 p.m.

I believe most do bring their own phones Harry. Check out this NYT story about soliders staying in touch w/ their friends and family back home (note its a couple years old but still a good read): Excerpt: "Those soldiers who bring their own cellphones pay fees that typically start at $70 and frequently run as high as $300 a month."

Kody Klein

Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 5:26 p.m.

According to Erin McCloskey, communications manager for Cellphones for Soldiers, the group does not send cell phones to soldiers, partly because soldiers in combat are not allowed to have them. Instead, the phones are recycled by Recellular, 1194 Oak Valley Drive #80, Ann Arbor. Recellular gives Cell Phones for Soldiers money for the recycled phones. That money is used to purchase international calling cards, which are sent to the soldiers.

Tim Hornton

Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 3:57 p.m.

Noble idea but everyone in the military buys new smart phones now, especially right after bootcamp (and yes they can afford it), they don't need old out dated phones. What they really need are updated laptops so they can Skype, watch movies, and get on the internet when their deployed.

Tim Hornton

Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 6:33 p.m.

Thanks kyle. That makes good sense

Kyle Mattson

Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 4:34 p.m.

Hi Tim- Just to clarify, Cell Phones for Soldiers is a partner of Ann Arbor based ReCelluar. They recycle the phones at their facility up the road here in Dexter. The funds are then used to purchase calling cards and free phone service for soliders.


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 3:07 p.m.

When is that file photo from, 2003? Those are some old school Nokias

Kyle Mattson

Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 4:24 p.m.

Reminds me of the good 'ol days playing snake.


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 2:56 p.m.

I have a cell phone that is just sitting in a drawer in my kitchen(dumped sprint..) that I would LOVE to donate to this entirely worthy cause! is there a way to do this? anyone?

Kyle Mattson

Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 4:17 p.m.

Hi Mady- Here's a link to drop off locations around Ann Arbor on the Cellphones for Soldiers website:


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 2:51 p.m.

Gone are the days when students organize to end war and bring soldiers home.

Adam Betz

Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

Hi cindy1....I'm glad people are not organizing like they did during the Vietnam War...Thanks to the Vietnam veterans and the things they have done, The several times I've come home from Iraq and Afghanistan I haven't been spit on or been called a baby killer.

Tim Hornton

Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 3:59 p.m.

Gone is the war in Vietnam! You wouldn't know that by talking to many people in Ann Arbor though.