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!

Co-Founders, Brittany (26) and Rob (25) Bergquist Honored by Forbes, Inc. with 30 Under 30 Award

Cell Phones for Soldiers Co-Founders Robbie and Brittany Bergquist were welcomed into the Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2017 for their efforts to connect military members serving around the globe. Previous winners have included Mark Zuckerberg, Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel, SNL’s Kate McKinnon, Chance the Rapper, and YouTube phenom Michelle Phan. And now Robbie and Brittany Bergquist have been recognized for being one of America’s top young game-changers and entrepreneurs.

Forbes has been compiling this list since 2012. Their 30 Under 30 community is now 4,000 strong the world over, from the U.S. to Europe to Asia. This year the competition was more extreme than ever before: 15,000+ nominations for just 600 spots. Today, the Forbes 30 Under 30 is harder to get into than Stanford or Harvard.

SEE GALLERY

July 25, 2016

Cell Phones For Soldiers Gives Back with Annual Golf Tournament

May 25th 2016

Thank You to our sponsors and our participants in the First Annual Golf Tournament. With your Support we were able to raise over 60 Thousand Dollars. That equals over 1.8 million minutes of airtime.

Cell Phones For Soldiers First Annual Golf Tournament

MAY 10th 2016
Thank You to all the sponsors and participants in the First Annual Cell Phones For Soldiers Golf Tournament. SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!!!!
For information on participation and sponsorship please email [email protected] or call 678-580-1976DSC_0026

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Veteran Tomas We Thank You for Your Service

Veteran Tomas We Thank You for Your Service

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Donated Shoes

Donated Shoes

ALL OF OUR VETERANS!!! WE THANK YOU!!!!!

ALL OF OUR VETERANS!!! WE THANK YOU!!!!!

Donated Items

Donated Items

CPFS Golf Tourney

Stream Energy Team

Stream Energy Team

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Donated Auction Items

Donated Auction Items

CPFS Golf Tourney

CPFS Golf Tourney

Brian Jones

Cell Phones For Soldiers Golf Tourney 2016

Army Special Forces Michael Strohl and Team

Army Special Forces Michael Strohl and Team

General Fuller

General Fuller

CPFS Golf Tourney

General Fuller and Mia

General Fuller and Mia

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CPFS Golf Tourney

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: 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

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.

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.”

Cell Phones For Soldiers Loses an Amazing Volunteer

ScottyRecently, Cell Phones For Soldiers lost an amazing volunteer. Earl “Scotty” MacKenzie, A true patriot, he dedicated his life to veterans. He was a World War II veteran, serving honorably in the U.S. Army. He received the Purple Heart award, among many other awards and recognitions. He was very proud of his military service. Scotty, we will miss you and your compassionate work for your fellow military members.

A few years ago we wrote the below blog highlighting Scotty’s many achievements.

Purple Heart Veteran and Cell Phones For Soldiers Volunteer – Sept. 2012

Cell Phones For Soldiers wouldn’t have been able to provide more than 168 million minutes of free talk time for our servicemen and women without the support of volunteers from all across the United States. One of those dedicated volunteers is 87 year old wounded World War II veteran, Scotty MacKenzie.

MacKenzie, a Private First Class, was a machine gunner for the United States Army and was deployed three times to the South Pacific. On his last deployment he was on patrol in enemy territory when he was shot multiple times.

He knows firsthand how important it is for our servicemen and women to communicate with loved ones back home. When asked about communication options when he was serving in the military, MacKenzie said, “the only thing you could talk to was a coconut tree.” He also shared that most letters from home never caught up with him since his unit was constantly on the move. Sometimes he wouldn’t receive the letters until months after he returned home.

He has fostered relationships with large-scale organizations including Ace Hardware, Texas Roadhouse and the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Collectively his cell phone collection outreach efforts have resulted in more than 2.1 million minutes of prepaid talk time for men and women in uniform. In 2011 alone, MacKenzie’s drop-off locations collected 5,715 unwanted cell phones.

Mackenzie shares his words of encouragement with fellow commanders within the Military Order of the Purple Heart. “If I can do this at 87….then you can do this at 37.”

MacKenzie continues to spend an average of two to three hours a day working on the Cell Phones For Soldiers campaign out of his home in Wyoming. He attributes his commitment to the charity to the Bergquist family.

“I think it’s one of the greatest projects I’ve ever been involved in and I bless the family and those children.”

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