Events like last week's 7.0-magnitude earthquake that left the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince in ruins can bring out the altruistic best in people. Tragic and jolting as it is, it's an eye-opener. And with our eyes now open, it’s reassuring to see the global community mobilize and lend a helping hand. In the case of Haiti, that helping hand has long been needed, now more than ever. 

If you want to support the relief effort in Haiti but are minding your finances, consider donating any old, dust-collecting cell phones if you got ‘em (there are over 1 billion unused phones floating around out there!) to ReCellular’s Phones for Haiti program. 

To be clear, your old phone will not be sent to Haiti and donated to victims and emergency workers. It will be refurbished by ReCellular and then resold in developing countries as a low-cost alternative to a new phone. The full value of each donated phone (chargers and batteries are accepted, too) is passed directly along to the American Red Cross, a crucial force on the ground in Haiti. Newer and fancier phones can garner up to $100 through ReCellular refurbishment and resale. Shipping your old phone to ReCellular's Michigan processing plant is free.

ReCellular, the world's leading electronics sustainability firm, has already donated over $10 million to various organizations through recycle/refurbishment so it’s not some fly-by-night program to be leary of. And again, 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to the Red Cross. This may not seem like the most instantaneous way to help, but if you have an old cell that you’ve been meaning to recycle, it’s a no-brainer. Even if your contribution isn’t put to use tomorrow, the recovery and rebuilding efforts in and around Port-au-Prince are just beginning. Now get scrounging. 

Via [Earth911]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Mobile aid: Recycle your cell, help Haiti
Have an old cell phone stashed away? Recycle it with the Phones for Haiti program and you'll help the American Red Cross provide disaster relief in the earthqua