SANIBEL, FL- More than 150,000 troops are serving overseas and are away from their families. Sanibel, Florida based Veterans & Family Memorial Care is calling on all Americans to support these brave men and women by donating their old cell phones. Since May, VFMC's exclusive funeral home provider network has collected nearly 4000 old cell phones that have translated into over two hundred twenty two thousand (222,000) free calling time minutes for our heroes overseas. "Our strategic alliance with Cell Phones for Soldiers has been a tremendous success" said Mark Davis, CEO & founder of Veterans & Family Memorial Care. "Our nationwide network of over 700 family owned funeral homes in 45 states, are committed to giving every soldier serving overseas a much needed connection to their loved ones back home."
People in communities nationwide can donate their old cell phones to the cause at any one of the over 700 Exclusive VFMC Providers in 45 states and Guam. The goal of the collection drive is to collect 5,000 phones over the next three months. To find a drop-off location near you visit www.VeteransFuneralHomes.com and go to the Veterans Funeral Home Directory or call toll free (866) 770-6791.
Americans will replace an estimated 130 million cell phones this year," says Mike Newman, vice president of ReCellular, "with the majority of phones either discarded or stuffed in a drawer. Most people don't realize that the small sacrifice of donating their unwanted phones can have a tremendous benefit for a worthy cause like Cell Phones for Soldiers."
Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist from Norwell, Mass., with $21 of their own money. Since then, the registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization has raised millions of dollars in donations and distributed more than 500,000 prepaid calling cards to soldiers serving overseas.
"We have been overwhelmed by the generous support of thousands of Americans who have helped our troops speak with their loved ones," says the teens' father, Bob Bergquist. "However the need for support keeps growing as more soldiers are sent to the Middle East or are asked to serve extended tours of duty."
Through increased fundraising efforts, the Bergquist family hopes to raise more than $9 million in the next five years to fund new programs, such as providing video phones to allow soldiers abroad to see their families on a regular basis.
The phones are sent to ReCellular, which pays Cell Phones for Soldiers for each donated phone -- enough to provide an hour of talk time to soldiers abroad.
Approximately half of the phones ReCellular processes are reconditioned and resold to wholesale companies in over 40 countries around the world. Phones and components that cannot be refurbished are dismantled and recycled to the highest environmental standards.