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AT&T begins collecting phones for soldiers

Cell phone recycling is becoming more and more common. Already a mainstay of smaller providers such as Virgin Mobile and Tracfone, the big boys may be jumping on board soon. AT&T is already there, and they’ve picked a noble cause for the beneficiaries of the program: the US military, though a cause called Cell Phones for Soldiers. You can now drop your old phone off at any AT&T corporate store (not an authorized dealer, but a store owned and operated by AT&T), and it will be put towards a calling card program for soldiers overseas.

We could have sworn we covered this before, but a quick look through the archives proves us wrong. Anyway, the idea behind the program to collect old cell phones that can be recycled (i.e. refurbished and resold, usually for prepaid customers). The proceeds from recycling the phones goes to buy overseas soldiers phone cards so they can dial home.

Remarkably, the non-profit organization was started by two Massachusetts teenagers. These ambitious youngsters have sent over 75,000 phone cards overseas during the three years they’ve been in business, raising over $1 million.

AT&T is working on its own, too. They have donated 30,000 phone cards to Cell Phones for Soldiers, and an additional 10,000 cards directly to troops overseas. Even further, they are also running a campaign to donate 50,000 phone cards to families of troops overseas, helping people connect from both ends of the world.

We’ve really ripped AT&T in the past for poor consumer relations. But when you hear a story like this, it’s tough to continue ripping them. So they get a reprieve for the rest of the day. The ripping of AT&T’s service will resume tomorrow.

[ Business Wire