A wise man (we’re not sure who) once said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” In other words, if something is needed, someone will figure out a way to provide it. That old adage has once again been proven to be true in Minnesota.
In this case, someone has figured out a brilliant new way to get much-needed free government cell phones into the hands of low-income Americans who need them most.
Credit goes to FreePhoneMN, an authorized distributor of free government cell phones through Life Wireless and the federal government’s Lifeline Assistance program. What was FreePhoneMN’s brilliant innovation? Instead of merely offering the free cell phones through the mail, FreePhoneMN came up with the brilliant idea of distributing free phones to Minnesotans via local public libraries.
Why didn’t someone think of this before? It makes it simple for would-be customers to prove their eligibility and it makes it quicker for those in need to get their free government cell phones.
As the company says in a recent press release, “Lifeline-supported free cell phones will be distributed at two library location in Anoka County. While held in library meeting rooms, this is not a library sponsored program.
“There will be a distribution at the Rum River Library, 4201 Sixth Ave. N., Anoka, Saturday, June 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and at the Columbia Heights Public Library, 820 40th Ave. N.E, Columbia Heights, Thursday, June 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.”
How cool is that? Until now, Life Wireless had distributed free government cell phones in the traditional manner (via the U.S. mail) in Arkansas, Illinois, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico and West Virginia. But now its added Minnesota to the roster of states in which is does business and consumers will reap the benefits of increased ease and speed of receiving the phone they so desperately need.
Qualifying for a free government cell phone is really pretty simple. All you need to do is show proof of participation in another government assistance progam, such as Temporary Assistance to needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Food stamps, Medicaid, Senior citizen low-income discount plan (offered by the local gas or power company), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA), or Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
Take proof of your participation plus a government-issued picture ID that shows your current address. You could walk out of the library with a free wireless cell phone with no monthly charge and no service contract and up to 250 minutes of airtime every month at no charge.
Far be it from us to attempt a joke, but this may be the first time in history that people have been encouraged to talk in the library.