Palm gives away 500 Pre Plus phones and $150,000 of service to "good causes"

I’m not often one to write about obvious PR moves — but when they’re primarily aimed at making the world a better place, I’ll suck it up and give’em a mention. At the very least, it might inspire another company to go out of their way to do good stuff. It’s like my crappy little version of playing it forward.

Palm. Maybe you know’em as the PDA-building giants of yesteryear; maybe you know’em as the underdog hardware company who just can’t nail out that perfect device. Whatever you know’em as, they’ve got a new badge: charity-doers.

Over the past few weeks, Palm has been quietly firing up what they call the “Palm Connections” program, wherein they’ll be giving out roughly 500 Pre Plus phones (along with $300 in Verizon service for each handset) to folks putting effort behind charities, eco-entrepeneurs, sustainability advocates, and other “good causes”. Their goal, they say, is to help these well-doers connect and “synch with each other and with the online world to tell their stories.”

In other words, Palm’s trying to be Captain Planet, and they’re giving out Pre Pluses instead of awesome little rings.