Cell phone drive aims to help soldiers

St. John’s is taking part in a cell phone drive, sponsored by national non-profit organization, “Cell Phones for Soldiers.” The goal of this group is to collect used cell phones, chargers and batteries and exchange them for prepaid calling cards for soldiers stationed out of the country.

St. John’s fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi, is spearheading the event, which began on Monday, April 21 and continues through Thursday, May 1. Cell phone drop-off points are by the library concierge in St. Augustine Library and in the Sullivan Computer Lab.

“[We] felt this was a great way to reach out to our troops overseas so that they can connect back to their families,” said Bhavik Shak, a member of Alpha Kappa Psi. “We all agreed that we have so many old cell phones that we do not even use so we assumed that many other college students on campus would be in the same situation.”

He added that Alpha Kappa Psi anticipates a great turnout and hopes that many St. John’s students and faculty will participate.

“We really thought this was a good idea to bring to campus because college students are always changing their cell phones for the latest craze,” Shak said.

According to the “Cell Phone for Soldiers” Web site, once the used phones and parts are collected, they are sent and sold to ReCellular, a company that recycles the items and pays the organization for each phone that is donated. “Cell Phones for Soldiers” then use the money to buy calling cards and ship them out to troops.

Sophomore Tara Weiss seemed eager to contribute to the cause.
“I actually have a few old cell phones to donate and I know a few friends that would definitely participate,” she said. “I think it’s a great cause and I’m looking forward to putting my old cell phones to good use.”

Junior Sheena Malik seemed equally interested in the event.
“I think it’s a great way for students to get involved in an important cause and I’ll definitely be donating my old phones,” she said.

Another student, sophomore Nancy Chestnut said, “I think that the cell phone drive on campus for the troops is a great idea and a great cause and I’ll absolutely take part.”
Junior Sapna Parmar also said that she feels the event’s purpose is worthwhile.

“It’s nice to see that the St. John’s community is getting involved with such an important cause,” she said, “I really think that both students and faculty will come out to participate, and I’ll be one of them.”