This Blackberry Pearl served me well in three countries (USA, Canada, NL).
It was my second Blackberry, third ever mobile phone, and saw the founding of NextHealth, the beginning of my blogging (2007) career, and was lugged around to too many healthcare and tech events to count.
I learned to SMS and txt on this phone. I took photos of home, my dog Oskar, friends/presentations at conferences, and yes, some candid shots of ankle scars. This phone documented my life, kept my calendar and contacts, and was my number one 'go/no-go' communication tool for a blooming career.
This phone was my first mobile health tool. I used it to text coworkers, locate folks onsite, hold conference calls in ice cream parlors, and set up docs' appointments galore.
Recently I switched to an iPhone - which has changed the way I live/work - and I haven't looked back.
You're looking at a girl who still considers Goodwill a great place to shop.
As a consummate eBay-er, Craigslist-er, and dedicated re-user, I felt a gnawing sense of guilt at having a perfectly good operational smartphone sitting in my bedside drawer gathering conference-brochure lint.
But what's a girl to do? All my family members are attached to their own phones, and inheriting a hand-me-down Pearl would mean they'd need to switch carriers to T-Mobile, cancelling their old contracts (which is a pain with a $175 early termination fee).
But in the drawer my Pearl sat, lonely and underutilized, until @joshnesbit emailed me about a new nonprofit effort founded by the Frontline SMS:Medic crew.
HopePhones.org provides a feel-good, effortless philanthropy answer to the question: "What in the hell do I do with my old phone?"
Josh, Lucky and the crew are starting the nationwide mobile phone collection to support mHealth programs (like Mobiles in Malawi) at clinics in 30 developing countries.
Here's how it works...
1. Get your old phone cleaned up (remove old media including photos) and cancel the contract with your carrier (if you haven't already).
2. Remove the SIM card (back panel) or just power the phone down and send in as is.
3. Visit HopePhones.org.
4. Print out a prepaid shipping label, affix to your phone package.
5. Your phone heads off to The Wireless Source, which recycles your mobile and gives the phone 'trade-in' value to FrontlineSMS:Medic to purchase appropriate, useful recycled phones for worldwide campaigns using SMS and texting tech to improve healthcare delivery by equipping healthcare workers in developing countries.
Please. Consider sending in your old mobile phones.
Please. Don't consider doing anything else with them.
And keep an eye on the news for more on HopePhones. The FrontlineSMS:Medic guys continue to set an example for all of us working in mHealth - they're motivated, mobile, and making a difference (with very little money).
Josh is in his final year of undergrad at Stanford. Lucky is in his first year of med school there.
If these guys can get something like this off the ground, what's your excuse?
For more info, give Josh a holler:
Congrats guys - glad to see my trash become treasure for 3-5 healthcare workers on the other side of the world.