Freshmen collect phones for soldiers overseas

By Sammy Roth

Connor Donahue ’12 and Andrew Green ’12 made a record donation to an organization which provides soldiers stationed overseas with free phone calls home.

Donahue and Green collected about 1,500 cell phones at school and around the city, which they donated to an organization called Cell Phones for Soldiers.

The organization turns each cell phone it receives into a calling card worth one hour of free calling time for soldiers, who are normally required to pay for their phone calls home.

The donation was the largest in the history of Cell Phones for Soldiers, which has raised over $2 million and donated over 500,000 such cards to soldiers overseas.

Donahue and Green began collecting the cell phones as their community service project, but soon decided to go far beyond the required 12 hours.

“At first I was looking for a community service project that I felt would really help others, to fulfill my community service requirement,” Green said. “But once I got involved I could not stop, I was inspired to continue.

As Green learned more about the impact of the calling cards, his resolve to help the soldiers became stronger.

“After finding out how much this calling time was important to the soldiers, I decided to try to continue doing something for the troops overseas.”

Donahue felt much the same way about the project.

“It was a relatively simple or easy thing to do, by that we mean, collecting one phone and then realizing that that would give one soldier one hour of calling time,” he said. ”How could we stop?”

The size of the two students’ donation has garnered some attention; a May 12 blog post on the Los Angeles Times website described their project.

“It’s not about the number [of donations] as much as it’s the positive attention we gave to a great cause,” Green said.

The calling cards will be given to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, Donahue said.