As a parent I have been wondering about the right age to get a child a cell phone. On one hand it seems highly extravagant an unnecessary yet at the same time it would be so wonderful to know that I can contact my son at any time. (The example I use often is if it should start raining during soccer practice I could let him know that I am on my way or he could let me know if his team moved indoors to wait out the weather.)
We also question his ability to keep the phone in his possession, as evident by the fact that we have visited the Lost & Found at school quite a few times already this year. As much as I want my children to be confident and kind, I want them to be responsible as well.
I am happy to report that we have found a terrific solution; and one that even pays it forward.
Have you heard of Straight Talk Wireless?
Straight Talk Wireless is encouraging consumers to go to their local Walmart to show their support for Make-A-Wish by taking part in a brief demonstration of a Straight Talk Wireless Android smart phone. For every shopper who participates, Straight Talk will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, with the ultimate goal of donating an incredible $1,000,000.
I was fortunate to get a phone from Straight Talk to try out and I must tell you that I am honestly really, really impressed with it. It was super easy to set up and use. It is comfortable to hold, light weight and very user friendly.
It is so convenient because you can load the phone with usage time by pre-purchasing minutes, so my son won’t be able to bankrupts us with text time and usage fees. I didn’t even have to add my son to our phone plan so if this device does end up getting lost it will be disappointing but not the end of the world. We have decided to treat it like an extra family cell phone and let him use the phone sometimes. If he shows us that he can be responsible with a phone then we’ll talk. (No pun intended.)
Here is the absolute best part. Straight Talk is running an event over the next two Saturdays at over 3,000 participating Walmarts as part of the “One Minute One Million” campaign. For every Walmart shopper who participates in a smart phone demonstration, Straight Talk Wireless will donate one dollar to the Make-a-Wish foundation. We have a relative who works for the Make-a-Wish foundation. It means the absolute world to her to be able to provide these wishes for children and to see their faces light up even though they are often undergoing invasive, painful medical conditions and treatments.
If you can’t make it to a Walmart but want to help you can do that too. Simply watch the smart phone in action and Straight Talk donate $.10 for every online demo completed through October 13th, with a minimum $500,000, maximum $1,000,000 donation (one donation per viewer).
You can find a participating Walmart near you by visiting OneMinuteOneMillion.com.
If you are considering whether to purchase a phone for your tween or teen, I highly recommend that you look into the Straight Talk phone. Check out one of the demos for yourself and can pay it forward to children who could use a smile.
Disclosure: I was given a Straight Talk cell phone to test out for this campaign with some air time minutes. I am happy to report that I am incredibly impressed with it.