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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: buff.ly/1PHD6dw 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: buff.ly/1PD1OVS.

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.).

Liberty Tax Donating Preparation Fees To CPFS

Cell Phones For Soldiers has some exciting news!

For every federal and state tax return prepared and filed online through Liberty Online, 100% of the tax preparation fee will be donated back to Cell Phones ForLiberty Tax Service Online Soldiers.

Liberty Online is powered by the fastest growing retail tax preparation company in the industry, Liberty Tax Service. With over 17 years of tax experience, Liberty has prepared almost 18 million individual tax returns in more than 4,000 offices and online.

Go to www.libertytax.com/online to take advantage of this offer and prepare your taxes. By entering the coupon code “CPFS” at checkout, Liberty Tax will donate 100% of the tax preparation fees back to Cell Phones For Soldiers.

Cannot be combined with other offers or used toward past services. Other exclusions may apply. Void where prohibited by law. Valid 1/1-4/18/16

Cell Phones For Soldiers Volunteer Spotlight — Jennifer and Justin Jones

CPT Melissa Kramer, Jennifer Jones, Justin Jones, Major General Daryl Bohac Raising CanesCell Phones For Soldiers Volunteer Spotlight Jennifer and Justin Jones 

Cell Phones For Soldiers wouldn’t have been able to provide more than 210 million minutes of free talk time for military members without the support of volunteers from across the United States. Two of those dedicated volunteers are Jennifer and Justin Jones, of Lincoln, Nebraska.

Every year since 2009 the couple has held increasingly successful cell phone drives at each of their three Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers restaurants in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Mrs. Jones—for whom helping others is a life calling and was a nurse in her previous career—saw Cell Phones for Soldiers as a natural fit to give back to Nebraska’s local military heroes when she took on the “Chief Marketing Officer, Fry Cook & Cashier” role for their restaurants.

“Partnering with Cell Phones For Soldiers is life-changing. Keeping our troops connected to family and friends while away is the least we can do.” Says Jones. “Even though it sounds so basic, after talking with the men and women who receive these calling cards and hearing how much it meant , we realized how much of an impact it had on them to hear a loved ones voice on the other end of the phone and we knew it was the least we could do considering the sacrifices they are making for each and everyone of us. ”

Mrs. Jones credits her and her husband’s “wonderful customers” with their increasingly successful phone drives, wherein they’ve been able to collect more than 4,200 phones and provide more than half a million minutes of talk time to service members in the Nebraska National Guard.

Being the daughter and granddaughter of U.S. military men, Jones says, “Supporting our troops is so important and Cell Phones For Soldiers takes something as common as an old cell phone and utilizes this to make a huge impact in the lives of the men and women who protect and serve our country.”

Inspired by her family and community, Mrs. Jones credits them with helping her, as she says, “make the most out of every moment and situation and to appreciate all that we have been given.” Likely they’re inspired by her, too. “Being able to support others in need and give back doesn’t only change their [the recipients’] lives,” she says, “but also your own.”

 

Start your own cell phone and tablet drive now. Here’s how: Set up a drop-off or drive site. For more information, contact us.

Donor Spotlight: Guardian Angels of Home Health

Cell Phones For Soldiers is fortunate to work with more than 3,800 public cell phone drop-off locations across the country. One of those locations is Guardian Angels of Home Health in Morrisville, Pennsylvania. A supporter of Cell Phones For Soldiers for many years, the company just received its largest cell phone donation from the National Wellness Institute of nearby Rowan University.

Margaret Popp, president for Guardian Angels of Home Health, shares what this generous donation means to them.

Thank you to the National Wellness Institute, Rowan University Chapter!

What an honor it was to accept a full box containing over 120 cell phones on behalf of Cell Phones For Soldiers from a group of students from the National Wellness Institute, Rowan University Chapter, in Glassboro, NewJersey. They did more than donate a phone, they had a cell phone drive for the Cell Phones For Soldiers organization!

Guardian Angels of Home Health, Rowan University Margaret Popp, founder and President of Guardian Angels of Home Health said, “In all the years we have been a collection site for CPFS,we have never had such a generous effort made. She is very pleased to be able to participate in such a worthy cause, and is proud oft his group!”

Justin Borden, President of the chapter says, “I would just like to say it was an honor to help those who are fighting for our freedom. I’m certainly aware that freedom isn’t free so I was thrilled about this project when the idea was presented to me. This year we have been very focused on helping the military. Not only have we participated in your Cell Phones For Soldiers drive but we also are hosting our very first Wounded Warriors race on April 25th 2015! All the details can be found on www.facebook.com/nwisinaugural5kforsoldiers. We will be donating 100% of our profits.”

It is good to see our young people going the extra mile to help our Military get calls home and also helping the Wounded recycling your old cell phoneWarriors! Please go to their Facebook page listed above and show your support for their worthy cause! These young men and women are all gaining credentials of one type or another in the medical field. Some will be doctors, pharmacists, nurses and many other fields of health. It is young people like this that we can trust with our future in wellness!

Cell Phones For Soldiers (CPFS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides cost-free communication services to active-duty military members and veterans. The organization was founded in 2004 by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, then 12 and 13 years old, with only $21. CPFS relies on generous donors for cash contributions and funds raised by the recycling of used cell phones.

If you are part of an organization that would like to learn more about how you can help the Military by having a phone drive, you can visit here. If you have a cell phone that you are no longer using, you can also drop them off at our office at 311 West Trenton Avenue, Morrisville, PA 19067.

For more information on Guardian Angels of Home Health, please visit http://www.guardianangelshomehealth.com.

Hip Kitty to Perform for Overseas Troops This Holiday

Hip Kitty is an American rock band who are loyal supporters to military members and Cell Phones For Soldiers. The band will head overseas this holiday to perform for and distribute calling cards to our troops, who aren’t able to celebrate the season with their families. Lead singer, Jen Goncalves shares what this trip means to Hip Kitty and the servicemen and women that they perform for.

Hip Kitty with troops and CPFS Calling Cards

Hello to our friends and supporters of Cell Phones For Soldiers! Hip Kitty is excited to be back for another Armed Forces Entertainment tour over the holidays! We would like to thank CPFS for their shipment of calling cards to the bases where we perform. It’s an awesome experience being able to provide our service members with a way to connect home…especially during a season when memories and time with family can be so precious. In our conversations with the moms and dads stationed abroad, the Cell Phones For Soldiers calling cards are a sweet reminder of support from those of us back home. These are men and women who proudly represent our country, but the holidays can be especially tough. A calling card means hearing the voice of their child on Christmas morning, for that so many are extremely grateful.

Hip Kitty plans to bring along some Christmas cheer, and ring in the New Year in full ROCK SHOW style! We’ll be sure to send pictures of our time abroad…We wish you all a blessed and fabulous holiday! Thank you for supporting our troops.

~ Jen

Jen with troops and their Cell Phone For Soldiers calling cards from their 2012 Armed Forces Entertainment tour.

The Meaning Behind the Logo

CPFS_LogoTo celebrate Cell Phones For Soldiers’ 10th birthday, the charity unveiled its new logo to ring in another decade of service to veterans and active-duty military personnel.

The development of the new logo took several months of truly transforming who we are, what we do and where we are headed as a charity into a beautiful image. The logo has several abstract, yet quite profound elements sewn into it to capture the meaning and nuances of Cell Phones For Soldiers. The new look and feel of the charity’s logo visually encapsulates the essences of 10 years of service providing a lifeline for America’s Bravest as well as our vision for the charity’s future.

At first glance of the new logo, some of the charity’s supporters noticed the red double arches while others sighted a red heart. Both interpretations are spot on.

First, the red arches signify connections that Cell Phones For Soldiers strives to provide to troops abroad to their loved ones back home. Minutes That Matter connects the world’s bravest men and women with their biggest strength, their families. Through your donations, Cell Phones For Soldiers is able to send these brave warriors calling cards so that they can stay in touch with those who mean the most to them. These moments of connection will allow military members to hear that they are missed, and bridge the distance between them and their families even if just for a moment. Although quite subtle in the charity’s new logo, those “arches of connections” are the cornerstone of Cell Phones For Soldiers mission.

The red abstract heart denotes reconnections which Cell Phones For Soldiers affords veterans in need through the support of emergency funding. Helping Heroes Home reconnects today’s modern day heroes as they return back home. By donating used cell phones, the charity is able to provide emergency relief funds to assist veterans as they rebuild their lives after honorably serving their country and protecting our safety.The heart shape displayed in the new Cell Phone For Soldiers logo also underscores a “heartfelt” appreciation for all that our military personnel, active and retired, do for our nation.

In creating a logo that represents the core of both Minutes That Matter and Helping Heroes Home, the charity underwent a thoughtful process and set forth to incorporate the mission, vision and goals of Cell Phones For Soldiers. The final product:  Cell Phones For Soldiers’ heart and soul of who we are, what we do and where we are headed have been beautifully captured in the charity’s new and improved logo.

December Volunteer Spotlight—Ralph Poznecki, The Mirage Hotel Casino & Resort

Ralph Poznecki lives in Las Vegas and is Public Areas Manager for The Mirage Hotel Casino & Resort. He heads up the enterprise’s Cell Phones For Soldiers cell phone collection for many reasons, not least of which is because he remembers the days he served in the U.S. Air Force.

“I am proud and privileged to have been a pilot and held the rank of captain,” he says. “And I remember long lines in front of payphone booths on various air bases, airmen and officers waiting their turn, in all kinds of weather, hands filled with change to call home. With today’s technology, and the convenience of the cell phone, there’s no need for those long lines. However, it still costs to place those calls. This [Cell Phones For Soldiers’ Minutes That Matter] program can supply prepaid phone cards to help with those expenses. ”

Imagine the potential if every teen in today’s society felt so compelled to help others.

Mr. Poznecki became aware of Cell Phones For Soldiers five years ago when he was accepted for a seat on The Mirage’s Diversity Counsel.

“While serving,” he says, “each member committed to support or steward a program that ‘gave back’ in some form or way to those in need. Once involved, I learned how the [Cell Phones For Soldiers’ Minutes That Matter] program got started by a couple of teens just wanting to say thanks and help out our members of the armed forces. Imagine the potential if every teen in today’s society felt so compelled to help others. How could I every say no.”

“The MGM Resorts International Organization honors and awards many of our wounded warriors for their courage, sacrifice and bravery.”

Mr. Poznecki is pleased to represent his workplace in initiatives like Cell Phones For Soldiers because it means he and his organization can be of service:

Ralph Poznecki “The MGM Resorts International Organization has been supporting the men and women serving in our armed force in many programs and events. Most recent is our Salute to the Troops, where we honor and award many of our wounded warriors for their courage, sacrifice and bravery both in combat, and now, [while they’re] recovering from their injuries.”

“The wounded soldier shook my hand, thanking me for doing so much for them, but it was I who had to thank him, hug him. I think we both got teary eyed.”

He’s pleased to represent his workplace in initiatives like Cell Phones For Soldiers because it means getting personally involved, connecting with others, feeling gratitude:

“During last year’s Salute to the Troops,” he says, “I was introduced to a wounded soldier who had lost his leg. Our events coordinator had told him about the nonprofit (Cell Phones For Soldiers) and my involvement in it. He [the wounded soldier] shook my hand, thanking me for doing so much for them, but it was I who had to thank him for his sacrifice for us, couldn’t help it, but had to hug him. I think we both got teary eyed.”

“Visit your local VA Hospital, speak with some of our veterans, and honestly say the experience wouldn’t influence you to pursue this program with your whole heart.”

“If anyone is interested in starting their own collection point for the program,” says Mr. Poznecki, “they can contact cellphonesforsoldiers.com for information, forms and other resources. My advice to anyone wanting to get started in supporting this cause…visit your local VA Hospital, speak with some of our veterans, and honestly say the experience wouldn’t influence you to pursue this program with your whole heart. Hear for yourself what these men and women would have given a chance to spend a few minute talking with a loved one, or hearing a familiar voice from home. A few minutes of someone’s time and a little effort can make a difference on the day of the life of one of our members of the armed forces.”

Honor, Remember, And Celebrate Every Day

American Flag with soldier

As we close out the month of May, we reflect on the meaning of National Military Appreciation month.

We kicked off the month of May with Military Spouse Appreciation Friday, May 9, honoring the patience and determination of military spouses nationwide who manage and guard their families while their husbands and wives serve our country. Service doesn’t just fall to those in uniform; it is certain that military spouses serve our country as well. The stress that spouses endure, as they worry for the deployed and as they find strength to go about the daily routine of running their households, can only be imagined by civilian families. The service of military spouses is many times forgotten.

Saturday, May 17, we honored the Armed Forces on Armed Forces Day. This day recognizes the sacrifices of the servicemen and women who protect our country from harm’s way, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Every day their service enables us to enjoy the rights and freedoms that we so often take for granted.

Monday, May 26 we celebrated Memorial Day. On this national holiday, we as a country remember those who have died during active military duty. The United States honors those who gave their lives to protect our country – the biggest sacrifice any citizen can give to his or her country. With heartfelt gratitude, we remember our fallen heroes on this day and thank them for the gift of freedom.

Looking back at a full month dedicated to honoring our military, it does not seem like enough. For all that our past and current military personnel have done and are doing to protect our country, one month of remembrance, honor and celebration for our heroes is truly insufficient. The sacrifices that generations of military members and their families have given and currently give is profound and sobering.

Freedom is not free. Every day – even for only one minute a day – let us mindfully honor, remember and celebrate our country’s military personnel, past and present, who have afforded us our freedom.

Give American service members and veterans a lifeline and our planet new life by recycling your used mobile devices and tablets

recycle cell phoneThis November 15, AMERICA RECYCLES DAY, your donation of a gently used cell phone, smart phone or tablet works to increase the quality of life of American troops and veterans, and the state of our environment.

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency reports indicate e-waste is the fastest growing waste in the United States, and little more than 12% of E-waste is getting recycled.

We can change that this November 15, AMERICAN RECYCLES DAY.

Your powerful donation on this special day (and every day) of a gently used cell phone, smart phone or tablet to Cell Phones For Soldiers does triple duty: it decreases e-waste, increases conservation of precious metals and ensures a better quality of life for U.S. service members and returning veterans.

When you give, you reconnect troops and returning service men and women to their loved ones and their lives with talk time and emergency aid.

Your precious aid is literal, as well: according to the EPA, “Experts estimate that recycling 1 million cell phones can recover and conserve about 50 pounds of gold, 550 pounds of silver, 20 pounds of palladium, and more than 20,000 pounds of copper.”

Additionally, almost all parts of a mobile phone can recycled, saving the exploitation of natural resources for making new ones. The recycling and refurbishing processes consume less energy than new production and thus add directly to energy-saving measures. And careful processing of discarded mobile phones protects the environment from getting polluted.

Donate your tax-deductible mobile device or tablet, funds or give through our iPhone Buyback Program and rest assured knowing your generous donation is doing the necessary hard work to recycle valuable technology, reclaim valuable precious metals and reinvigorate the spirits of invaluable American heroes who appreciate your assistance each and every day.

Month of the Military Child When One Member Joins, the Whole Family Serves

Month of the Military Child

When one member joins, the whole family serves

Month of the military childThe month of April is used to recognize how resilient and adaptable military children can and have to be but also to support and acknowledge their struggles that are part of the military lifestyle. This month, we are reminded that military children serve and sacrifice too.

Military families move every 2.9 years – many times moving in the middle of the school year. The anxiety of a change in school and home setting just once in a child’s life can be devastating – imagine having to experience several moves before the age of 18. The average military child attends six to nine schools before graduation. As Chris Dickson, a writer from the Navy Region Mid Atlantic Base Newspaper, states, “That’s a lot of lunchrooms to walk-in as the new kid.”

Another real anxiety faced by military children is having a parent deployed usually for 18 months at a time. Since 2001, more than 2 million children have had a parent deployed at least once. 1.3 million of those children are school-aged. Having a parent serving in a war zone can be very stressful for the family, particularly for children. The same can be said for children coping with a parent’s recovery from severe injury sustained while serving. In families with combat-related injuries, 68 percent report high distress in children. Connecting those children to their parents helps to ease emotional concerns that become apparent in children while a parent is deployed. Cell Phones For Soldiers assists by bridging the communication gap between families by providing free international calling cards.

The relatively higher stress levels of family life for children due to more frequent moves and/or the deployment of a parent has considerable implications for military children. Here are a few more sobering statistics about the military child:

  • One in three children with a deployed parent is at “high-riskfor psychological issues.
  • Depression is seen in about one in four children
  • Academic problems occur in one in five children
  • 37 percent of children with a deployed parent reported that they seriously worry about what could happen
  • 34 percent of military parents feel “less or not confident” that their child’s school is responsive to the unique aspects of military family life

We at Cell Phones For Soldiers salute the 900,000 military children for their resilience, sacrifice, strength, and honor for serving our Nation — because when one member joins, the whole family truly serves. Join us in supporting military children by making a monetary or cell phone donation today!

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