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Convert phones into homes

High school senior Mackenzie Merriman (left) stands with Peter Morsch of the St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity to display the collection boxes she's placed in the community collecting old cell phones as a fundraiser for the local Habitat. <i>Submitted photo</i>

High School Senior Mackenzie Merriman invites people in and around River Falls to finally discard their old cell phones in a way that protects the donor and environment plus benefits the St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity.

Merriman's 'phone-to-homes' drive runs now through March 31. People may bring their old cell phones to one of several collection boxes in the community:

  • St Bridget's Catholic Church, 211 E. Division St.
  • First Congregational UCC, 110 N. Third St.
  • SCV Habitat for Humanity, 116 E. Elm St.
  • Habitat Restore, 901B N. Knowles Ave. in New Richmond.

Merriman pursues a service-learning scholarship for college through the local Lions and Rotary clubs and organized the fundraising project as a part of the effort.

She chose the 'phone-to-homes' because it protects the environment, helps hardworking local families build their own home, and de-clutters countless junk drawers.

The drive accepts phones of any type or age -- working or not. Merriman and SCVHFH Resource Development Manager Peter Morsch say they've partnered with top-notch recycler Vintage Tech. The company is certified as an R2 and e-Stewards recycler.

Morsch said that means, "They adhere to the highest standards in the recycling industry and ensure that these donated phones are handled with care and the non-recyclable components are disposed of properly -- important to us here at Habitat."

The local Habitat will receive $2.50 for each pound of recycled components. If the drive collects 35 pounds of old phones in each box, it will generate about $500 for building affordable homes.

Merriman urges: "So clean out your junk drawers and safely recycle with Habitat!"

Learn more about the St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity at its website: