Community Involvement

Ironwood donates 1,000 confiscated cell phones

Two men in masks flanking a table with cell phones lined up in rows.
Some of the 1,000 confiscated cell phones Ironwood donated to a group to help service personnel, first responders and others.

By Lt. Heriberto Mora

Ironwood State Prison (ISP) donated approximately 1,000 cellular telephones, confiscated over time, to Operation Gratitude earlier this month.

Ironwood State Prison’s Feb. 1 donation will help fund care packages to U.S. service members and first responders worldwide.

Operation Gratitude, nonprofit organization, will receive money for every donated phone, even damaged and locked devices.

Every year, Operation Gratitude sends more than 300,000 individually addressed care packages to:

  • U.S. military members deployed overseas and their children left behind
  • First responders
  • New recruits
  • Veterans
  • Wounded service men and women and their caregivers.

Each package contains snacks, hygiene products, entertainment, and handmade items, as well as personal letters of support.

Operation Gratitude provides civilians anywhere in America a way to say thank you through active, hands-on volunteerism.

The non-profit uses collection drives, donations similar to Ironwood State Prison’s, letter writing campaigns, craft projects, and care package assembly events.

Each package contains donated products valued between $45 and $100. The packages cost the organization $15 to assemble and ship.

Warden Neil McDowell and Chief Deputy Warden John Merchant, a U.S. Marine veteran, are proud of the hard work of the ISP staff.

They said staff make ISP a safe and secure institution able to donate to a cause that supports those around the world that sacrifice everyday so that we may continue to live in freedom.