community service

T-mobile buying used phones or are they?

I saw in the technology news today that T-mobile was actually buying  phones for trade ins.  I thought it was a great idea so I went ahead and pulled out my multitude of cell phones that I have stored away in the closet that are perfectly good working phones but they have been replaced already.  I found three phones that I know two were in perfect working order and one that sometimes has a screen issue but still works.

I logged into the suggested site that tells you how much your phone is worth and sets you up for your trade in.  First I’m disappointed that I can only trade in one phone when I have three that I would like to trade in.  I still was curious what the phones were worth so I start typing in the information for the first phone.  All of them were Samsung phones since they seem to work best with my wife and her hearing impairment.  The first phone was a basic clam shell phone in perfect condition and the only reason I replaced it was she wanted a camera phone.  The phone was worth zero dollars for a trade in but I sort of expected it.  I type in the information for the second phone which was actually her second phone which was very close to her original but had a camera option.  This one was also worth zero dollars okay I wasn’t expect zero twice.  Now I took her Samsung Gravity 2 which she just loved since it had a four gig card in it with tons of her songs, pictures and videos.  It’s a slide phone and great for texting.  I figured if anything this phone should be worth something for a trade in.  I type in the information and sadly learn that this great phone is worth zero dollars for a trade in.

So what gives T-Mobile?  We already know that your probably going to get bought out by AT&T so they are obviously trying to increase some sales to help beef up their purchase price.  I don’t understand why they try to make it look like you are going to get a nice deal for trading in your phone but then pretty much every phone is worthless.  The article by Yahoo News made it look like you should dig out your old phones and use this service .  Either they didn’t do their homework for their article, they were paid to write the article or maybe something is up with the trade in site.

If nothing else the article made me realize that I do have some working phones sitting around the house that could be put to good use.  You really shouldn’t throw them away as you shouldn’t throw away electronics or batteries in your trash and should find a way to recycle them.  There are shelters for domestic violence that take donated cell phones so I suggest you look here if you are looking for a national organization to send them to.  You can also contact your local  shelter as many of them will accept your cell phone.  Your phone will be put to good use and actually help someone instead of a scam to trick you into paying full price for a trade in phone.  Turning it in to the shelter will be good for your soul while sending it to T-mobile will just put a dent in your wallet.

Teaching your child the value of community service

As a member of the community you should find ways to give back to the community.  As a  parent you should show your child the importance of community service as well.  It appears that many of the high schools are pushing kids to do some community service which I think is great.  I know my son’s school does in part to prepare them for the outside world the other part is to help out with the student’s college or work applications.

I had the opportunity to involve my son with an organization known as Rebuilding Together. This group identifies homes in the area that are owned by elderly and disabled that is in need of repairs.  Often the elderly and disabled have so much of their income go into healthcare that things such as home repair is kept on the back burner.  Rebuilding Together works off of donations of material and money to help repair the homes of those in need.  The repairs are  done with absolutly no cost to the homeowner.

This weekend was National Rebuilding Day and I got an opportunity to lead a team at one of the 21 homes that were worked on in our local community.  This weekend our local chapter had nearly 700 volunteers  My son at first was hesitant and did not feel like spending a Saturday doing chores such as painting, especially since he had just spent a week doing his state testing exams for school.  I knew though he would later enjoy it and pretty much insisted that he show up.

When I arrived at our project home at the designated time I saw a group of people eagerly waiting to get to work.  I unloaded the supplies and started getting them organized while I had all the volunteers sign the necessary paperwork.  Our company had originally teamed up with another company thinking we’d have two small groups that could work together and get the job complete.  I later found out that our partnered company ended up bringing nearly 30 volunteers instead of the ten I was originally expecting.  Many of the volunteers happened to be high school kids who came along with their parents.

The first thing our group did was to organize the yard  a bit since we knew we were going to paint the outside of the house.  We needed to move some stuff away from the walls to protect it and we laid down plastic at the bottom of wall to catch any falling paint.  Soon the buckets of paint were flowing into multiple pans and the paint rollers were quickly moving up and down the walls.  The teens were eager to participate and were soon competing with the adults for supplies.  I only had so many rollers and brushes so at one point I had other people raking up the yard to remove leaves, dirt and other things.  Some of the men volunteered to climb up on the roof and start scraping off some of the old paint from the trim around the house.

As we were painting the walls of the house one of the leaders from the other team decided to pitch in and buy some additional paint to give the house a new coat of paint around the trim, doors and poles. While a group went off to the store to buy stuff our lunch was delivered by other volunteers from Rebuilding Together known as runners.  After finishing up our lunch our new buckets of paint arrived and we finished up the house by repainting the trim, doors and poles.

The teens at this point kept coming up to me asking me for tasks and it obvious that they really wanted to continue to help.  I went and checked on my son and he told me that he was enjoying painting and it actually felt good to be doing something nice for someone.  I think it was worth twisting his arm to get him there.