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Mobile Phones Worth A Million To Starship

Mobile Phones Worth A Million To Starship

Old mobile phones might be junk to the New Zealand public but to the national children’s hospital they’re worth a million.

Donated phones from around New Zealand have now helped raise more than $1 million for Starship since the campaign launched just over two years ago. More than 270,000 phones have been donated in that time.

The Starship Mobile Phone Appeal has been a huge success for the Starship Foundation which partners with recycling company Folamh to refurbish and on-sell the old phones to developing economies around the world.

“We’re thrilled to announce our million dollar milestone,” says Starship Foundation CEO Brad Clark. “With all the appeal costs taken care of by Folamh, the Starship Foundation’s proceeds can go directly where it’s needed most – the kids at Starship Hospital.”

The money raised from the Starship Mobile Phone Appeal is used to help fund the Air Ambulance Service which brings children from all over New Zealand to Starship for specialist care. The Foundation is committed to providing $1.5 million annually to the service.

Once the phones are donated, they are recorded, graded and stored before being sent to places such as Hong Kong, China or Eastern Europe where they are checked, reprogrammed, repackaged and sold. Phones beyond repair are recycled through the correct environmental channels.

The Starship Mobile Phone Appeal was recognised last year when it took out the Health Sector and Supreme Awards in the 2010 Robin Hood Prime Minister’s Social Heroes Awards.

The awards recognised how the Starship Mobile Phone Appeal had been particularly successful in bringing together the telecommunications industry in New Zealand. Vodafone, Telecom, TelstraClear and 2degrees all support the appeal by providing drop off points in their retail stores as well as promoting the campaign directly to their staff and customers.

Russell Stanners, CEO of Vodafone, says: “It’s great to see the industry working together and we are incredibly proud of this million dollar achievement. The initiative allows our customers to do the right thing environmentally as well as support a deserving kiwi charity.”

Paul Reynolds, CEO of Telecom, says: “Our thanks must go to our customers who have sent in more than 90,000 phones. We’re delighted that New Zealanders recognise the importance of this initiative for young Kiwis at Starship Hospital and the environmental benefits of mobile recycling.”

“The Starship Mobile Phone Appeal is a great way to raise funds for children’s health while keeping old phones out of our landfills at the same time,” said Eric Hertz, Chief Executive at 2degrees Mobile. “2degrees is proud to be part of this terrific program.”

Dr Allan Freeth, CEO of TelstraClear says: "TelstraClear takes its support for New Zealand and the environment very seriously. This initiative helps both children in need as well as preserving our precious environment. It's a great example of where competitors can work together for the good of everyone."

Starship Foundation CEO Brad Clark says, “We’re looking forward to the public and our corporate partners helping us raise the next million dollars through the Starship Mobile Phone Appeal.”

The public can donate phones using freepost envelopes which can be found at ASB Bank, Barfoot & Thompson, Telecom, Vodafone and 2degrees stores, The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery branches. Envelopes are also regularly inserted into national newspapers and magazines.

About The Starship Foundation - The Starship Foundation raises funds so Starship Children’s Health can better care for New Zealand’s children. Donations are an extra to Government funding and provide a variety of initiatives such as new technology, vital research, boosted family support and preventative programmes.

Starship Children's Health cares for nearly 150,000 children from around the country each year.

More information about the Starship Mobile Phone Appeal is available at www.starship.org.nz/phone.

ENDS

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