For every phone donated, a recycling center will give a soldier a calling card to a soldier to use overseas. Each phone card has an hour worth of minutes for usage. The money also goes towards pay phones in airports soldiers deploy from.
Since 2008, St. Joseph has donated nearly 2,000 phones. Organizers say they hope to send more this year since the need is greater.
"It's just a small way the community can help. Instead of throwing away your cell phones, you can donate to a good cause and to a soldier who may not have the money to call overseas, that way they'll be able to communicate with family," said Sue Edson, from the Carnegie Library.
May is also National Military Appreciation Month. The cell phones can be working or non-working and don't need a charger.
You can donate an old cell phone at any St. Joseph library branch. For more information, call (816) 238-0526.