Organization recycles phones to help families battling cancer - KCTV5

Organization recycles phones to help families battling cancer

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SHAWNEE, KS (KCTV) -

Have an old cell phone lying around the house that you don't know what to do with? There's a local company that can turn that old paper weight into a way to help families battling cancer.

"A cell phone is value-dense, so it has precious metals in it and it's small," said Jason Clements, a cofounder of Cells for Cells.

Back in 2007 he was working in telecommunications and noticed a lot of his clients were saying the same thing.

"We've got these cell phones, and we don't know what to do with them. We know we shouldn't put them in the trash," he said.

That's when Clements, an environmentalist, wanted to help make sure the old phones not only got recycled, but also helped others.

"We wanted to benefit a cancer charity because, firsthand, we know what it was like and how rough it was to experience that," he said.

Just two years prior, Clements' grandfather was diagnosed with cancer.

"It was a shock, and within a few months he was gone and it was rough," he said.

Knowing how hard it can be for a family battling cancer, Clements partnered with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and started collecting cell phones.

"That first month we already had a handful of old cell phones. We found some downstream recyclers to buy the phones from us," Clements said. "It felt awesome to go take that first check to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, but it also felt not that awesome because it was only $15."

But that was just the start. Running Cells for Cells out of his garage, he has seen it come a long way and now has hundreds of business partners across the country. A portion of the money raised goes to the patient aid fund of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, helping families with needed financial assistance.

"It's super rewarding to know that this little thing that happens in my garage with cell phones is helping somebody that is having a really rough time right now," Clements said.

Cells for Cells has raised nearly $40,000 so far.

The organization's name came from the connection of cell phones and doing something for the body's cells.

If you want to donate your old phone, they suggest you try to get at least 12 phones together to make it worth the shipping costs they cover. Clements suggests talking with some friends and getting a collection together first.

Click here for more information.

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