As the digital age continues to evolve, newer models of cell phones are more desirable, making the new ones a hot commodity and leaving the old ones to collect dust.

In an effort to make use of these older cell phones, Handle With Care Packaging Store of Santa Monica has partnered with Cell Phones for Soldiers to support soldiers in need.

Now through March, the local community may drop off old cell phones at Handle With Care Packaging Store, 2510 Wilshire Blvd.

Each phone donated at the Santa Monica shipping store will be sent to Cell Phones for Soldiers and sold to ReCellular.

The money is then used to buy phone cards for soldiers stationed overseas, with each phone donated providing an hour’s worth of calling time.

“Many people buy new phones as soon as a new model comes out and are left wondering what to do with the old one,” said Frank Letcher, owner of Handle With Care Packaging Store of Santa Monica. “This partnership will provide a service for community members and an opportunity to help soldiers contact their family and friends while away from home.”

Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist from Norwell, Massachusetts, with $21 of their own money.

Since then, the nonprofit organization has raised almost $1 million in donations and distributed more than 400,000 prepaid calling cards to soldiers serving overseas.

Handle With Care Packaging Store is a business service center that offers UPS and FedEx shipping, and packaging services.

“We are proud to be a part of such a worthwhile cause and encourage everyone in the community to get involved with us,” Letcher said.

Information on Handle With Care Packaging Store of Santa Monica and their partnership with Cell Phones for Soldiers, Letcher at (310) 829-7255.

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