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CELL PHONES FOR SOLDIERS Media

Become A Morale – Booster For Our Troops

Deployment, for a member of today’s military, often means a year or more away from the comforts of home, from parents, kids, spouses, partners and friends. In many cases, our service members are in dangerous war zones, where a simple call home isn’t as easy as pressing a button on a cell phone.

At Cell Phones For Soldiers, co-founders Rob and Brittany Bergquist decided back in 2004 that a basic need—to check in on loved ones back at home—should be available to our troops when they are hard at work for us. And they shouldn’t have to pay for it. Cell Phones For Soldiers takes the funds from donated cash and recycling your mobile devices, and buys calling cards to send to troops who are hard at work all over the globe. To date, we’ve sent more than 300 million minutes of talk time to servicemen and women.

Receiving such a useful donation from home can provide a needed morale boost to a man or woman who is deployed. It can be a reminder to them that we are grateful for their service. A Marine Corps major once told the New York Times: “If they know the American people are supportive, my troops will walk through fire for them.”

You can be part of that support network for our troops, by donating money or your unwanted cell phones, smartphones, tablets and MP3 players to Cell Phones For Soldiers. If you know of a member of the military who should receive a calling card, please visit this link to fill out their contact information

Eliminating Communication Headaches For Our Troops

Support HeroesCBS News in Boston recently ran a story about Air Force veteran Jeff Gordon, whose cell phone service provider billed him for service he didn’t use while serving our country abroad.

Jeff learned that Verizon had not received the paperwork he faxed to announce his deployment, and never realized that the suspension didn’t take place until his mortgage company noticed the missed payment on his credit report.

Since the story came to light, Verizon wiped out the bills Jeff and a fellow Air Force veteran were charged, and has now changed its policy to allow service members to suspend their accounts via email, instead of fax, during their deployment.

Even if our troops can’t use their own devices while deployed, we at Cell Phones For Soldiers want to make sure they maintain their important connections with family and loved ones while they’re serving. We take your unwanted cell phones, smartphones, tablets and MP3 players and recycle them for their valuable materials, turning that money into calling cards for our troops. We also accept cash donations.

Between our Minutes that Matter program, which has provided more than 300 million minutes of talk time to our troops, and our Helping Heroes Home program, through which we’ve provided more than 3,000 veterans with emergency grants, Cell Phones For Soldiers is committed to lifting some of the financial burden off our military members.

To donate to Cell Phones For Soldiers, visit our “Get Involved” page. Cell Phones For Soldiers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

This Earth Day, Recycle Your Devices Safely With Cell Phones For Soldiers

At Cell Phones For Soldiers, we are proud to recycle old cell phones and mobile devices responsibly. In doing so, we are able to extract the valuable materials contained in these devices, and turn them into money that we use to buy calling cards for the troops and to support our veterans and their families.

This work also has another incredible benefit: it keeps consumer electronics from being discarded in ways that can harm the environment.

Every year in the United States, people improperly discard 3 million tons of electronic waste, which contains PCBs, cadmium, mercury and lead, substances that are toxic and can even be carcinogenic! If mismanaged, those substances can leach into soil, endangering our precious ecosystem and potentially contaminating our food and water supply.

This Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, consider donating your unused cell phones, smartphones, tablets and MP3 players to Cell Phones For Soldiers. We’re committed to recycling your devices in a safe, environmentally friendly way, and as always, to supporting our troops, our veterans and their families.

Cell Phones For Soldiers Celebrates 13 Years

Brittany and Rob Bergquist were just 13 and 12 years old, respectively, when they learned about a soldier who had racked up $8,000 in charges to call home while he was deployed. They emptied their piggy banks and raised money with bake sales and car washes, wanting to help the soldier pay his bills.

That was on April 12, 2004.

After 13 years, Cell Phones For Soldiers has donated 300 million minutes of free talk time to our servicemen and women, giving them calling cards and helping them connect with their loved ones. After learning they could collect unwanted cell phones and mobile devices and recycle them for their valuable components, the Bergquists decided to use that money to purchase calling cards for the troops.

What followed was bigger than those kids could have imagined. Partnerships with major companies like AT&T and Liberty Tax helped expand Cell Phones For Soldiers, and our organization now has more than 4,000 collection sites.

In 2012, we started Helping Heroes Home, a program to provide emergency grants to veterans in need. We have helped more than 3,000 veterans with internet service, eviction prevention and other urgent issues.

Our work continues. We are grateful for the support of all our donors and partners. If you would like to get involved, find out how you can donate funds or an unwanted cell phone, smartphone or mobile device.

Why We Help Heroes Home

A soldier doesn’t stop being a soldier when he or she hangs up their uniform. They are still the same people who risked life and limb to serve their country, and we owe them our support as they transition into civilian life.

That’s why Cell Phones For Soldiers began its Helping Heroes Home program in 2012. We recognize that life after service can bring a number of challenges, whether they are physical, emotional or financial, and that’s why we extended our program to aid veterans.

Through their donations, our supporters have helped more than 3,100 veterans overcome communication challenges and physical, emotional and assimilation hardships with communication services, imperative car repairs, rent payment to avoid eviction, and more.

To request assistance for yourself or a veteran you know who needs help, please visit our Helping Heroes Home page and fill out the form. Requests are kept confidential, but we do need contact information and permission to confirm some information with the office of Veterans Affairs.

To donate to Cell Phones For Soldiers, either by contributing funds or recycling your old mobile device, visit our page on getting involved. Cell Phones For Soldiers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Plymouth 400 Recognizes Cell Phones For Soldiers Founders

Recently, Plymouth 400 recognized Cell Phones For Soldiers Co-Founders Rob and Brittany Bergquist with its “One Small Candle” award. Our partnership with the organization, which is preparing to honor Plymouth Colony’s 400th anniversary, continued beyond the award: Eight Plymouth businesses affiliated with the organization served as drop-off locations for Cell Phones For Soldiers!

The “One Small Candle” award is given each year at Plymouth 400’s Illuminate Thanksgiving event to an individual or group that has made a positive impact on their community, their country, or their world. The award is inspired by Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford’s famous quote, “As one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many.” Plymouth 400 stated that Rob and Brittany, siblings who started Cell Phones For Soldiers at the ages of 12 and 13, have made “the lives of so many of our service men and women a little brighter with their work.”

As Plymouth 400 gets ready to celebrate four centuries of history in Plymouth, Massachusetts, they are introducing special Plymouth license plates for Massachusetts drivers. Low-number plates will be auctioned off, beginning April 19, and ending June 3, 2017. To bid on a plate, visit: www.myplymouthplate.org.

For more information about Plymouth 400, visit their website.

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