CPFS Has Another Solid Year Of Connecting Families

Marine Calling HomeNORWELL, Mass. (Feb. 2, 2016) – Cell Phones For Soldiers helped troops deployed in more than 25 countries stay in touch with their loved ones during 2015, continuing the successful mission started by two young siblings more than a decade ago.

Behind a strong donor base and corporate support, CPFS distributed over 76,000 international calling cards in 2015. That total equates to more than 4.6 million minutes of talk time.

Cell Phones For Soldiers’ veterans program, Helping Heroes Home, also had a solid year in 2015 aiding over 1,300 veterans with emergency aid.

Robbie and Brittany Berqguist founded Cell Phones For Soldiers in 2004 out of concern for service men and women paying for their own calls home from around the world while deployed. More than a decade later Cell Phones For Soldiers has provided more than 220 million “Minutes That Matter” to help members of the United States military stay in touch with family.

Helping Heroes Home was launched in 2012 to help provide one-time emergency grants to aid veterans making the transition back into civilian life. Grants cover a wide range of veterans’ emergency needs including car repairs, rent or mortgage payments, phone service, medical bills and many others.

“Cell Phones For Soldiers is proud to continue our mission to support active duty and veteran military members,” said Rob Berguist, who along with his sister Brittany founded the charity when they were 12 and 13-years-old respectively. “We are thankful for the incredible support we have had from generous donors and sponsors over the years to help make life better for this country’s service members.’”

Cell Phones For Soldiers shipped an average of 1,500 calling cards a week in 2015. More than 8,300 cards were sent to soldiers in Afghanistan, the most of any country. Service members in Iraq received the second highest number of calling cards, 2,300.

Forget roses, make Valentine’s donation to CPFS

There is a commercial I hear often these days on Sirius XM Satellite Radio that goes something like this: “Would you rather have a lot of stuff or learn a new language?”

I’m not interested in learning a new language, but it got me thinking about“stuff” and Valentine’s Day.

Most of us have way more “stuff” than we need. Most of us have tons of “stuff” wSAN DIEGO Operations Specialist 2nd Class Marcus Hooper, assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd, kisses his fiance as they are reunited during a homecoming ceremony.e don’t even use. And Valentine’s Day is about giving lots of “stuff.” Roses. Candy. Jewelry. Lavish dinners. Fun “stuff,” but just “stuff.” You eat the candy. The roses wilt. And on to the next holiday.

But here’s an idea. How about a gift … and please forgive the cliché … that keeps on giving?

While we’re enjoying candy, flowers and dinners with the people we love on Valentine’s Day, there are thousands of American’s deployed around the world to make sure we have the opportunity to enjoy all that “stuff.”

They won’t be anywhere near the folks they hold so dear on Valentine’s Day. They won’t be able to hold their hand across a candle-lit table. There will be no slow-dancing to romantic music. They will be lucky to tell them “I love you” from thousands of miles away.

Let’s trade some of our Valentine’s Day “stuff” to make sure these service men and women can connect with their loved ones on a regular basis.

Pass on the dozen roses this Valentine’s Day. Instead donate that money … a dozen Valentine’s roses are a minimum of $50 … to Cell Phones For Soldiers, whose Minutes That Matter program keeps service families connected through international calling cards. It’s pretty simple to do, too. Just click: and you can make a donation to support troops. You can also donate to support veterans through our Helping Heroes Home program at the same site.

It is just as easy for a service member to request a calling card to help stay in touch with your loved one; just click here:

You think fifty bucks won’t make a big difference? Check these numbers out: every $5 donated to CPFS equals 2.5 hours of talk time. That $50 military monetary donation will truly keep on giving. And it sure beats wilted roses.

(This blog is courtesy of Mike Smith, veteran journalist and public relations professional. He lives in Bristol, TN, with his wife Aleeta.).

Lake Orion students make statement for youth

Every generation of young people takes a beating. They’re “lazy.” They’ll “never amount to anything.” What’s this “country going to do for leadership?” It’s become quite the tradition in this country.

And it always turns out to be bluster. It seems that every generation has stepped up and done exactly what was needed to keep things headed in the right direction.

That’s certainly the case with this next generation of youngsters if the studentsLake orion high school students at Lake Orion High School in Lake Orion, Michigan are any indication.

Earlier this year Lake Orion High School held their second “Cell Out for Soldiers” event. Their goal was to raise funds for Cell Phones For Soldiers. Their method was the least-expected way for today’s teenagers: they gave up their cell phones for a day to support troops.

It was a simple formula to help teach youngsters about helping others. For each phone turned in for the day, the school’s Leadership Workshop class donated $1 toward the charity. That totaled $1,860. But it didn’t end there. Students, faculty and administrators gave another $1,000 in loose change and cash.

There was more. A fundraiser prior to the main event at a local restaurant raised about $1,050.

The grand total turned out to be almost $4,000.

Lori Hogan, a Lake Orion teacher and the advisor for the event, said the students were a little hesitant a year ago for the inaugural event, but this year they were excited and more than 86 percent of the student body gave up their phones for the day. She said the event had become a point of pride for the students and faculty, many who made a military monetary donation.

And it should be. These youngsters, as most youngsters do, get it. They understand a little sacrifice on their part will have a huge impact on others. And how big was their impact?

Every $5 donation to Cell Phones For Soldiers buys 2.5 hours of talk time. The math works out to about 2,000 hours of talk time for service men and women around the world to stay in touch with their loved ones. That is a tremendous impact, one that truly makes a difference.




Sharing The Day With The Ones You Love

US troops calling homeAfter a long, hard day at work, you come home stressed out and tired. You can’t wait for your loved one to walk through the door so you can tell them what happened today and ask how their day went. For those with children, you want to know everything they learned today and what their favorite part of the school day was.

Have you ever wondered how it would feel to be hundreds of miles away from your loved ones and not even have the ability to communicate with them? Not being able to share those exchanges of “how was your day?” or just a simple “I love you.” Many soldiers bear this heartache every day.

Cell Phones For Soldiers has made it their mission to eliminate this burden for soldiers by serving them with free communication services. Since 2004, they have provided more than 220 million minutes of talk time to our troops stationed around the globe and Liberty Tax Service has supported this amazing cause since Cell Phones For Soldier’s first year of operation. Old mobile phones for charity. What a novel, but simple idea to help our troops.

At our participating tax offices, we have collected over 120,000 used cell phones, totaling over 19.5 million minutes of calling time for our service members. It is such an easy thing to do: recycle your phone.

This year, we’ve created a new way to donate even more to CPFS. For every federal and state tax return prepared and filed online through Liberty Online, 100% of the tax preparation fees will be donated back to Cell Phones For Soldiers.

Cell Phones For Soldiers is also participating in our new program, The Liberty Tax Redemption Fund. We will donate $50 to the CPFS’ Redemption Fund each time someone brings in the specialized voucher and has their taxes prepared at any participating office.

When you donate to CPFS, you are giving our soldiers the chance to call home for free and say goodnight to their children or talk about their day with their spouse. That is why we’ve been so passionate about CPFS for more than a decade and encourage any and every one to get involved!

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