Leading By Example: Lake Orion High School Students Come Together To Support Cell Phones For Soldiers

At Lake Orion High School in Michigan, student leaders and faculty have taken Cell Phones For Soldiers’ mission to a new level. Lake Orion is planning its fifth-annual CELL OUT For Soldiers, where students voluntarily give up their own phones for a day in January. For each phone turned in at the beginning of the school day, the school donates $1 to Cell Phones For Soldiers. This innovative program has caught the attention of local and regional news—for great reason!

Since 2015, Lake Orion High School’s leadership class has donated $15,000 to help Cell Phones For Soldiers’ Minutes That Matter program, which provides free calling cards to our deployed troops.

We are so grateful for these amazing students!

Advisor Lora Hogan says Lake Orion chose to benefit Cell Phones For Soldiers with this special day because the school feels a patriotic connection to the men and women in our armed forces. The fact that Cell Phones For Soldiers co-founders Brittany and Rob Bergquist were kids when they started this organization also inspired Lake Orion.

“Our 2,300 kids and over 140 staff members find CELL OUT to be the best day of school,” Lora says. Communication and connection are great that day and we love it. It unites our kids in a way that nothing else can.”

CELL OUT’s success has been overwhelming at Lake Orion, the first school in the nation to host such an event. Lora hopes the project will expand to other schools across the United States, offering American students a day to disconnect from their devices while helping our country’s heroes.

This #GivingTuesday, we’re highlighting businesses and organizations that have helped Cell Phones For Soldiers by donating or serving as donation sites for cell phones and other mobile devices. Setting up a permanent donation site—or hosting a collection drive—at your business or organization is a free and simple way to engage your local audience.

For other stories about organizations who help us help troops and veterans, keep an eye on our Facebook page on #GivingTuesday, November 27, 2018.

Celebrate Veterans Day With Gratitude And Service

Just like that other special occasion in November, Veterans Day is a day of extraordinary gratitude in the United States. On Sunday, November 11, we honor all veterans, past and present, for their service and sacrifice, and we affirm our commitment to never forget their work to protect and defend our nation. We are so thankful.

There are plenty of opportunities to take action in support of veterans in your community and beyond, today and every day. Here are some ideas:

Find an event, bring your kids!

Today, join crowds at your local Veterans Day parade or ceremony to show your support. Bring your children and talk to them about the importance of service, both in the military and outside it.


Check with your local veterans’ services organization to see whether they need help with special events, regular duties or other work. There may be a veteran in your community who needs help with yard work or household chores, transportation to appointments, or simply some friendly company from time to time. Go where the need is.

Share the stories of our oldest veterans

Sixteen million Americans served in World War II. While the nation lost 400,000 troops during the four years of WWII, millions returned home to reenergize a war-fatigued nation. They built homes, started businesses, became parents and continued to serve. Many of them reenlisted to fight in Korea when the time came. Today, fewer than 500,000 are left from WWII, out of the 16 million who went to fight; and 2 million Korean War veterans survive. We lose more of older veterans every day. If you have a WWII or Korean War veteran in your life, and they are comfortable telling their story, ask them to share it with you. Keep their stories alive by recording them and sharing them with the next generation.


Write or call your local, state and federal representatives to ask them to increase and protect funding for veterans’ services, including for medical and mental health care, including suicide prevention, that will help heal our nation’s bravest from the physical and psychological effects of war.


If you own or manage a business, implement a veteran-friendly hiring policy and offer to train veterans in your field. Military service requires leadership, reliability, teamwork and discipline, all traits that make great workers in any industry. Too many veterans leave the military without good employment prospects, which can make the transition to civilian life even more difficult.


Veterans Day is a perfect opportunity to make a charitable contribution to an organization that supports veterans. Here at Cell Phones For Soldiers, our program Helping Heroes Home provides emergency grants for veterans to help with things like eviction avoidance, internet service, home repairs and more. We’ve given aid to more than 3,100 veterans, and aim to help more, with your support. Learn about Helping Heroes Home and donate today. 

Cell Phones For Soldiers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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