NEWS & MEDIA

CELL PHONES FOR SOLDIERS Media

Challenge Your Friends to Support Troops and Veterans This #GivingTuesday!

This #GivingTuesday, we’re excited to challenge our supporters and friends to support Cell Phones For Soldiers and help our troops and veterans for the holidays!

It’s simple: Donate $5 or a used cell phone, smartphone, tablet or MP3 player on #GivingTuesday, November 28. Then tag five friends (and us!) on Facebook and challenge them to do the same.

#GivingTuesday is an annual tradition that serves as a philanthropic boost during the hectic holiday season. It’s an opportunity to pause during the mall runs and frantic online shopping to give back. And it raises a tremendous amount of money for great causes—donors in 98 countries gave more than $170 million in 2016 alone!

At Cell Phones For Soldiers, our mission is twofold: Supporting our troops with free talk time so they can connect with their loved ones while serving far away from home; and helping our veterans transition to civilian life by providing one-time grants to help with bills, address communication needs and even avoid eviction.

Your donation, and your friends’ donations, mean that an Air Force officer deployed thousands of miles away can connect with his wife as she deals with a sudden home emergency.

They mean that a Soldier can call her kids to encourage them to do well in school.

That a Marine can hear his parents’ voices and wish them a Merry Christmas.

That a veteran, who has served our country bravely, can sleep easy knowing she’s covered a bill that was causing her unneeded stress.

You can donate money through our website, and find a local drop-off site to donate a phone, or print a shipping label to mail in a device—however you choose to give, we thank you!

We are so honored to provide help to the men and women who serve and protect our country, and so grateful for your support in our mission! Happy #GivingTuesday!

Land of the Free, Because of the Brave: A Veterans Day Message

veterans dayJust like that other special occasion in November, Veterans Day is a day of extraordinary gratitude in the United States. Today, 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.

Volunteer

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, there are just about 550,000 left from WWII and 2 million from Korea, and we lose more 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.

Advocate

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 that will help heal our nation’s bravest from the physical and psychological effects of war.

Hire

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.

Give

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.

Honor Our Troops for National Military Appreciation Month

Here at Cell Phones For Soldiers we—and the people who support us—celebrate the troops every day. But the month of May is special: May is National Military Appreciation Month.

Designated by Congress in 1999, National Military Appreciation Month is a time for all Americans to honor and thank the men and women who volunteer to put their lives on hold, and often risk their lives, to serve our country. We also honor those who have died, giving the ultimate sacrifice. We can’t say “thank you” enough.

There are a number of ways you can participate in National Military Appreciation Month: If you own or manage a business, you can offer military discounts to members of the armed forces and their families, or you can commit to hiring veterans; other citizens can participate by saying thank you to the troops, volunteering at organizations that help service members and veterans, and sending care packages.

Supporting Cell Phones For Soldiers is an easy way to give back! You can help by donating money or recycling a cell phone, smartphone, tablet or MP3 player with us, even if the device is nonworking. We use your donations to buy calling cards for the troops and to help veterans here at home. To date, we’ve given more than 300 million minutes of free talk time, and aided 3,100 veterans with emergency grants. Visit our “Get Involved” page to learn more. Cell Phones For Soldiers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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.

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.

Keeping Watch Across the World

Support HeroesWe may not see daily updates on military action in the Middle East on the news anymore, but that doesn’t mean our troops aren’t still hard at work across the globe to keep us safe.

According to Visual Capitalist, there are more than 200,000 U.S. troops deployed overseas in 177 countries. Check out the cool infographics on their page to see just how widespread our military truly is.

Of course, deployment in some cases means that military servicemen and women are far from home, and missing events in the lives of their family and friends. That’s where Cell Phones For Soldiers comes in.

When you donate money or your old mobile devices to Cell Phones For Soldiers, you provide hours of free talk time to our troops. Just a $5 donation provides 2 1/2 hours of talk time, a respite from the stress of deployment and an opportunity to connect with the people they love.

For more information on donating cell phones, smartphones or tablets; or on making a cash donation, please visit our donation page. Cell Phones For Soldiers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Recycle Your Device Securely With Cell Phones For Soldiers

donate cell phonesYou might want to donate your old cell phone or mobile device to Cell Phones For Soldiers to help our military connect with their loved ones, but you also want to make sure your personal data is not compromised.

We absolutely understand that, which is why we work with a recycler who follows the same standards for security as the Department of Defense. Our recycling partner is R2:2013 (Responsible Recycling) and NAID AAA certified (National Association for Information Destruction) and follows the DoD standards from wiping hard drives and devices. You can be confident that your data is secure when you donate your old cell phone, smartphone or tablet to Cell Phones For Soldiers.

If you decide you want to erase your data on your own, you can do that as well!  If your phone has a SIM card, please remove it before donating. You can also search the internet for the way to “factory reset” your specific device before you send it.

To learn more about how to donate your device, please read the information on our Ways to Donate page. You can either mail it to us, or find one of thousands of drop-off sites and avoid the shipping costs. Cell Phones For Soldiers is a 501(c)(3) organization.