Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Top Tips for collecting old phones

You want an iPad for your child, who has autism, or special needs, or none.  You've registered with the Hearts and Minds charity to collect old mobile phones to exchange for an iPad.  So where to start? 

The official launch of the scheme was at the end of May, and many of the families who've got their iPads since then have been happy to share their top tips for collecting phones.  This is what worked for them:

Hints and tips from parents

1. Facebook - from pestering friends and family, to setting up and promoting a dedicated Facebook page and/or Facebook event.  Post updates on the campaign and perhaps photos of donated phones with a thank you message for the donor. 

2. Twitter - 'phenomenal' is how one Mum described the twitter response to her request for phones.

3. Workplace - colleagues and customers have supported some families. 

4. School - one Mum says she is now known as "the crazy lady who wants old mobiles!" But it worked..

5. Local businesses, shops, community centres and pubs - ask if they will put up posters or a collection box for you.  Some businesses may have collections of employees' old contract phones.

6. Media - Newspapers and radio stations love heart-warming stories, and several have run articles and interviews with local families about their child and publicising their need for old phones.

Hearts and Minds can also help with securing media coverage: Just contact for more details.

7. Local buy/sell/giveaway sites - families found that people tend to be very generous in support of a good cause.

8. Swap phones for...fresh chicken eggs, home-baked fairy cakes, or anything else that would incentivise your friends, family, neighbours and other local people.

9. Swap things on Facebook by advertising items your family no longer needs on the swap/for sale sites in return for any old or broken phones.

10. Local small phone shops may have old or damaged phones that they don't need.

11. Local councils recycle phones so see if they will donate to you instead.

12. Ask at your local Church and they may support your campaign.

13. Make sure people know why you want the phones and how your child will benefit.  Hearts and Minds has posters that can be emailed to you.

14. From a Mum in Ireland:

"I put gift wrapped boxes with my child's picture and details of the recycling scheme in local schools and shops, got friends that worked on factory floors to bring in buckets with my child's face on them, I went to lost & found in (police) stations, and bus & train stations, I got friends to share on FB, I went to Chinese mobile phone shops & repair shops, and got unusable unfixable phones from them too.... Everybody has at least one or two old phones ones hanging around the back of a drawer, I just badgered everybody until I got what I needed!"

And finally...

Make sure that people know that about the big prize:


More about the Hearts and Minds charity here:

Twitter: @handmchallenge  

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