Local brothers collecting old phones to recycle and give to community members in need

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JOPLIN, Mo. — Two local students find a unique way to keep people connected who might not otherwise have that chance.

Two brothers from Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School are collecting old phones.

The phones will be repurposed and given to local organizations.

“these phones will be donated to community members in need, who may be anyone from electronically isolated senior citizens, domestic abuse victims and even coronavirus patients in the hospital,” said Shrihari Nagarajan, Collecting Old Phones.

Shrihari and Prithvi Nagarajan are collecting old phones through secure the call.

The Thomas Jefferson students were inspired to help during an internship.

“In my time at this internship I’ve been looking at something called the phubbing phenomenon. Its just the excessive use of phones and its implications on mental health and interpersonal communication,” said Shrihari Nagarajan

“I learned about the toxic substances in batteries and the harmful effects that they can have. We wanted to find a way that we could recycle old phones and provide them to community members in need,” said Prithvi Nagarajan, Collecting Old Phones.

The brothers reached out to secure the call, which will repurpose the old donated phones.

“After we receive the phones back from secure the call we are planning to contact a few social service organizations within the Joplin community. As of now we are thinking of maybe like Watered Gardens, Rapha House, Lafayette House,” said Shrihari Nagarajan.

Right now they have a bin at the Joplin Public Library and four other locations.

“We’ve had a really good response from the community. Since it sits here in our lobby we don’t actually see coming and going a lot but when you rattle it around there are several phones in there,” said Chelsey Gatewood, Joplin Public Library.

The barrel will stay in the lobby of the library until the end of the year.

To see the full list of drop off locations, go here.

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