Too often we use programs like these as excuses to feed our consumerism. We don't feel bad for replacing perfectly serviicable equipment because we can mitigate the guilt by giving it to someone in need.
Too often these "recycled" phones cannot be used elsewhere and just get dumped. For example I have a phone that only works with Tmobile. If I sent this to Nigeria it would just get thrown in the landfill. All that really happened is that you got some "feel good" for an action that achieved nothing.
How about just "recycling" the phone by keeping on using it?
Switching from a full featured fancy phone back to a simple phone - one that just makes calls - is a refreshing simplification to your life.
You might also consider giving that older laptop a new lease on life by dumping the inefficient slow operating system for something simpler and faster. My 5 year old computer loaded with xubuntu ( a lightweight version of Ubuntu) is far slicker than a new computer loaded with Windows Vista.
Doing this would save you, say, $500. Send $100 to your favourite charity and keep the other $400.
I'm not at all adverse to helping out organisations such as these ( a large % of my earnings goes towards helping charities), but here's an idea.... rather than buy a new phone for $200 and sending your old $20-value phone to these people, keep using your $20 phone and send them a $100 donation and keep $100 in your pocket.
in April 2009