NEWS & MEDIA

CELL PHONES FOR SOLDIERS Media

November 2, 2015

Puretalk USA has partnered with cellphones for soldiers

PURETALK USA HAS PARTNERED WITH CELL PHONES FOR SOLDIERS

TO PROVIDE TROOPS WITH FREE CALLS HOME

 

Pure TalkUSA Stacked LogoAtlanta, GA, November 2, 2015 – PureTalk USA is now a Two Star Sponsor of nonprofit Cell Phones For Soldiers, helping troops call home by donating gently-used cellular phones. Although the military landscape is ever changing, as many as 200,000 troops are serving in the United States military overseas around the world. By donating to Cell Phones For Soldiers, PureTalk USA is providing a lifeline for America’s bravest.

“We are very proud to help provide communication resources to America’s military members,” said Norman Klugman, COO of PureTalk USA. “It is an honor for us to say ‘thank you’ to the men and women serving our country.”

PureTalk USA is a Veteran-owned company, and its commitment to supporting US soldiers is at the core of the business. With this partnership, our customers can rest assured that returned, devices are recycled in a generous and forward-thinking way.

Cell Phones For Soldiers was founded in 2004 by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist at the ages of 12 and 13. The charity has since provided more than 216 million minutes of free talk time to servicemen and women stationed around the world through its calling card program, Minutes That Matter. Funds raised from the recycling of cellular phones are used to purchase prepaid international calling cards. On average, Cell Phones For Soldiers distributes 1,500 calling cards each week to bases around the world, care package programs, deployment ceremonies and VA hospitals.

“Each year we have been humbled by the amount of people and organizations like PureTalk USA that take the initiative to support our military members,” said co-founder Robbie Bergquist. “The communication gap between those serving and their families is a crucial need that Cell Phones For Soldiers is committed to addressing for years to come.”

For every donated phone valued at $5, Cell Phones For Soldiers is able to provide two and a half hours of free talk time to deployed troops.

Since 2004, more than 11.7 million phones have been recycled or repurposed. Approximately half of the phones processed are reconditioned and reused. Phones and components that cannot be refurbished are dismantled and responsibly recycled to reclaim materials, including:

  • Gold, silver and platinum from circuit boards
  • Copper wiring from phone chargers
  • Nickel, iron, cadmium and lead from battery packs

For more information, please visit www.puretalkusa.com or www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com.

ABOUT PURETALK USA

PureTalk USA is a nationwide service provider of low cost, no-contract mobile phone service. It operates using the nation’s largest & most reliable GSM wireless network that reaches over 300 million Americans. The company has been in business since 2004 and provides 100% USA-based customer service. To learn more about PureTalk USA, visit www.puretalkusa.com.

ABOUT CELL PHONES FOR SOLDIERS INC.

Cell Phones For Soldiers Inc. is a national nonprofit dedicated to serving troops and veterans with free communication services and emergency funding. Founded in 2004 by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, then 12 and 13 years old, Cell Phones For Soldiers has provided more than 216 million “Minutes That Matter” to servicemen and women. Since 2012, “Helping Heroes Home” has provided emergency funds for more than 2,800 veterans to alleviate communication challenges as well as physical, emotional and assimilation hardships. For more information, visit www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com,

Brittani Watkins

PureTalk USA

(678) 202-0804

[email protected]

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Lake Orion students make statement for youth

Every generation of young people takes a beating. They’re “lazy.” They’ll “never amount to anything.” What’s this “country going to do for leadership?” It’s become quite the tradition in this country.

And it always turns out to be bluster. It seems that every generation has stepped up and done exactly what was needed to keep things headed in the right direction.

That’s certainly the case with this next generation of youngsters if the studentsLake orion high school students at Lake Orion High School in Lake Orion, Michigan are any indication.

Earlier this year Lake Orion High School held their second “Cell Out for Soldiers” event. Their goal was to raise funds for Cell Phones For Soldiers. Their method was the least-expected way for today’s teenagers: they gave up their cell phones for a day to support troops.

It was a simple formula to help teach youngsters about helping others. For each phone turned in for the day, the school’s Leadership Workshop class donated $1 toward the charity. That totaled $1,860. But it didn’t end there. Students, faculty and administrators gave another $1,000 in loose change and cash.

There was more. A fundraiser prior to the main event at a local restaurant raised about $1,050.

The grand total turned out to be almost $4,000.

Lori Hogan, a Lake Orion teacher and the advisor for the event, said the students were a little hesitant a year ago for the inaugural event, but this year they were excited and more than 86 percent of the student body gave up their phones for the day. She said the event had become a point of pride for the students and faculty, many who made a military monetary donation.

And it should be. These youngsters, as most youngsters do, get it. They understand a little sacrifice on their part will have a huge impact on others. And how big was their impact?

Every $5 donation to Cell Phones For Soldiers buys 2.5 hours of talk time. The math works out to about 2,000 hours of talk time for service men and women around the world to stay in touch with their loved ones. That is a tremendous impact, one that truly makes a difference.

 

 

 

October 5, 2015

Bergquist Family Receives Local Civilian Award From Volunteers of America

Bob, Gail and Brittany Bergquist withTom Bierbaum President and CEO of VOABoston: Volunteers of America Massachusetts hosted its 4th annual Veterans Leadership Dinner on Wednesday evening at the Seaport World Trade Center to raise funds to support veterans facing homelessness, unemployment, addiction and mental illness. Each year, supporters of this event change veterans’ lives with their generosity – and this year, donors made a particularly large impact.

The evening began with the presentation of the Capt. Thomas J. Hudner Award, given each year to a current or former service member who has gone unrecognized, but deserves to be celebrated.  This year’s award was presented in memory of Mr. Robert Femino of Canton, Massachusetts. Femino was a long-time Board Member and friend of the organization, who unexpectedly passed away in February. He served as a Seabee, a member of the US Naval Construction Battalion, during the Vietnam War. The special award was received by Femino’s two sons, Adam and Bobby Femino.

Additionally, the Local Civilian Hero Award, presented each year to a person or an organization that shows determination and courage in taking on challenges within the veteran community. This year’s award was given to the Bergquist family of Norwell, Massachusetts, who were honored for the deep impact they’ve made through the nonprofit organization they founded, Cell Phones For Soldiers, which aims to provide free communication service to active-duty military members and veterans across the country. The award was received by Gail, Bob and Brittany Bergquist.

Tom Bierbaum, President and CEO of the organization said, “We are so grateful for the ongoing support we’ve received from the community for our veterans programs. This event brings together so many people who are passionate about serving veterans, and it’s their devotion, commitment and generosity that allow us to continue these programs year after year.”

Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Francisco Urena, spoke and praised Volunteers of America Massachusetts and its programs for continuing to be a beacon of hope for veterans in need. The City of Boston’s Commissioner of Veterans’ Services Giselle Sterling also attended, greeting guests and thanking Volunteers of America staff for their dedication to supporting veterans’ initiatives.

Lastly, guest speaker and former client of the Volunteers of America Massachusetts veterans transitional housing program in Somerville, John, shared his journey with audience members, giving a glimpse of how the consequences of PTSD changed his life. His message was deeply poignant: that individual veterans need encouragement to break through the stigma of mental illness and substance abuse, before consequences take over their lives. John’s heartfelt thanks to supporters was greeted with enthusiastic applause.

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Volunteers of America Massachusetts is many things to many people. We are a trusted community provider, a passionate advocate for individuals struggling to get back on their feet, and a partner helping other community based organizations throughout Massachusetts. Volunteers of America Massachusetts provides vital social services to thousands of women, men, and young people each year. For more than 100 years, Volunteers of America Massachusetts has promoted an individualized approach to caring for others, based on respect for each individual’s right to make informed, independent decisions about their health and happiness.

Tax-Deductible Donation Easy As One-Two-Three

It’s that in-between week, the week with packages and pretty paper and gifts and Santa Claus behind us. And champagne and crazy hats and the big crystal ball dropping in Times Square in front of us.

Yep, it’s that week that’s bookended by loads of fun. Sometimes those in-between days can get a little boring, though. You can only eat so much leftover turkey, only watch so many obscure college bowl games between equally obscure teams.

So we’re often left wandering the house looking for things to keep us entertained until the last night of the year. And often, it’s the notion of that final chapter of the year that sends us scurrying for the tax paperwork. Once the clock strikes midnight, there’s no reprieve from the tax man.Tax deductible donation to veteran nonprofit organization

But between now and then there’s plenty you can do, like making a tax-deductible donation to Cell Phones For Soldiers.

It’s simple as 1-2-3. Really, it is.

1. Click on this link: https://www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com/get-involved/donate-funds/ and make your donation.

2. Sit back and wait for your donation receipt to arrive in your in-box.

3. Smile!

Yep. That’s it. You’ve got all the information that the tax man will need on April 15 for a good, honest legitimate deduction.

Actually you’ll find out you’ve got much more. You’ll have that really good feeling you get when you’ve done a good deed.

Imagine being thousands of miles away from home defending your country in a war zone with no way of keeping in touch with your loved ones. Imagine being a military spouse with three children and not having a way to check on your significant other.

That’s what it’s like being deployed. But because of your donation, a donation that will actually save you money in the long run, that awful feeling of loneliness will be erased for many, many servicemen.

It’s a pretty cool way to end the year.

August 25, 2015

Lease Advisors Announces Partnership with Cell Phones For Soldiers

Lease Advisors 3Los Angeles, CA (August 25, 2015) – Lease Advisors, a premier land  lease  consultancy and acquisition firm based in Los Angeles, officially announces  collaboration with Cell Phones For Soldiers. This partnership will provide troops and veterans with pre-paid calling cards at no cost to  them.

Since its inception in 2004, Cell Phones For Soldiers has provided more than 216 million minutes of free talk time to servicemen and women stationed around the world through its calling card program, “Minutes That  Matter.” Lease Advisors is proud to be able to support Cell Phones For  Soldiers as they provide this incredible service.

Lease Advisors CEO, Jarred Saba, says of the partnership, “We created Lease Advisors Community to give back in the communities where we conduct business. By partnering with Cell Phones For Soldiers, Lease Advisors is proud to be able to help our country’s servicemen and women stay connected with their loved ones.”

For their part of the partnership, Lease Advisors will donate talk time to provide a means of cost-free communication upon the completion of lease purchase transactions.

“Leaving family behind during deployment is difficult and unimaginable for many of us. And then knowing that you are missing special moments, birthdays, “firsts” for your newborn and holidays is even harder. For some, the cost of calling home is insurmountable,” says Cell Phones For Soldiers co-founder, Robbie Bergquist. “So we’re honored to work with Lease Advisors and its customers to provide a lifeline for America’s bravest.”

The partnership with Cell Phones For Soldiers is a strategic one for Lease Advisors, as it furthers their long-standing commitment to make a positive impact in local communities. The initiative has been in place since the launch of the Lease Advisors Community philanthropic initiative in 2013.

“This program is an integral component to our corporate philosophy of partnering with communities at the local level, and forging lasting, positive relationships,” said Saba.

To learn more about Lease Advisors Community, click here.

About Lease Advisors

Lease Advisors is a financial services and ground lease consulting firm that works with cellular and billboard lease owners on acquisition, negotiation, and financial or real estate issues related to ground leases. The company has overseen the direct acquisition of hundreds of cellular and billboard leases with individual real estate investors, businesses, non-profit organizations, and municipalities. For more information, please visit www.leaseadvisors.com.

About Cell Phones For Soldiers

Cell Phones For Soldiers is a national nonprofit dedicated to providing cost-free communication services to active-duty military members and veterans. Founded in 2004 by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, then 12 and 13 years old, Cell Phones For Soldiers has provided more than 216 million “Minutes That Matter” to servicemen and women. Since 2012, “Helping Heroes Home” has provided emergecy funds for more than 2,800 veterans to alleviate communication challenges as well as physical, emotional, and assimilation hardships.

 

Sharing The Day With The Ones You Love

US troops calling homeAfter a long, hard day at work, you come home stressed out and tired. You can’t wait for your loved one to walk through the door so you can tell them what happened today and ask how their day went. For those with children, you want to know everything they learned today and what their favorite part of the school day was.

Have you ever wondered how it would feel to be hundreds of miles away from your loved ones and not even have the ability to communicate with them? Not being able to share those exchanges of “how was your day?” or just a simple “I love you.” Many soldiers bear this heartache every day.

Cell Phones For Soldiers has made it their mission to eliminate this burden for soldiers by serving them with free communication services. Since 2004, they have provided more than 220 million minutes of talk time to our troops stationed around the globe and Liberty Tax Service has supported this amazing cause since Cell Phones For Soldier’s first year of operation. Old mobile phones for charity. What a novel, but simple idea to help our troops.

At our participating tax offices, we have collected over 120,000 used cell phones, totaling over 19.5 million minutes of calling time for our service members. It is such an easy thing to do: recycle your phone.

This year, we’ve created a new way to donate even more to CPFS. For every federal and state tax return prepared and filed online through Liberty Online, 100% of the tax preparation fees will be donated back to Cell Phones For Soldiers.

Cell Phones For Soldiers is also participating in our new program, The Liberty Tax Redemption Fund. We will donate $50 to the CPFS’ Redemption Fund each time someone brings in the specialized voucher and has their taxes prepared at any participating office.

When you donate to CPFS, you are giving our soldiers the chance to call home for free and say goodnight to their children or talk about their day with their spouse. That is why we’ve been so passionate about CPFS for more than a decade and encourage any and every one to get involved!

December 9, 2015

Holiday Season Increases Need For Calls With Family

It was Christmas, 1968. Well, maybe not Christmas Day. Probably not even Christmas Eve. But it was right there close to the holiday.

The Vietnam war was still raging and my older brother was shipping in-and-out of Vietnam waters as a Navy seaman. We hadn’t seen him in three years. Our only lifeline with him was the telephone. One of those old, bulky, heavy black ones with the rotary dial.

Holiday Season Veterans CallOn this holiday season night my mom and I sat and watched that phone. We were due one of the calls we got every three or four months from him. We knew he was back in port at Okinawa. It was the night he said he would call in his last letter. And we waited. And waited.

Finally, late into the evening, the phone jingled. It was him. Four or five minutes later it was over. We had tried to jam all of the catching up and holiday cheer into just a very few minutes. It would be another two or three months before we talked again.

Mom and I rehashed that conversation again and again. She held on to every word.

I remember asking her why we didn’t talk with my brother more often. It was, it seems, very, very expensive to take a collect call from Okinawa in 1968. We were poor and a $40 or $50 phone call more than two or three times a year was out of the question.

It was a situation that left my Mom in tears often, not knowing what was going on with her middle son a world away, unable to hear his voice, to know he was OK.

Fast forward 45 years or so. The technology has changed. Our phones fit in our pockets and don’t weigh five pounds. We can instantly connect via the web to anyone around the world.

But the emotions remain the same. The sound of a voice from a loved one brings comfort and reassurance that the web can’t.

Just like on that winter night in 1968, telephones are the lifelines to the sons and daughters and mothers and fathers that are serving our country a world away. But Cell Phones For Soldiers has made it all so much easier. Since 2004, their Minutes That Matter program has been on a mission to support troops and help them call home at no charge.

Because of so many generous supporters donating money and gently used cellphones for recycling, that mission has been successful with 216 million minutes of free talk time for servicemen and women over the past 11 years. Who could have dreamed that it could be so easy to donate to support veterans and active-duty military members?

Over this holiday season imagine how difficult it would be to be away from your child, your husband or your wife; think about how important a phone call would be to them. Then reach out to Cell Phones For Soldiers and make an online military monetary donation or let them recycle your unwanted cellphone. It’ll make you feel better. More importantly it will provide a lifeline for our troops and veterans.

I know it would have made my mom, my brother and I feel like we’d received a gift of a lifetime in 1968.

Make a difference in the lives of military members now at: https://www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com/get-involved/donate-funds/.

(This blog is courtesy of Mike Smith, veteran journalist and public relations professional. He lives in Bristol, TN, with his wife Aleeta.)

November 30, 2015

Notes of Thanks

 

  • “I am stationed in Afghanistan. The mountains are starting to turn snow covered now and soon snow will be everywhere. I love this program. I have been handing them out to random Soldiers over the past few months. Why? Because I can afford to call home and the junior enlisted light up like crazy when a random SSG stops them and gives them a calling card. I love the look on their faces. One PFC broke down in tears. Those tears she shed made my day. Thank you for giving me a chance to help out my fellow soldiers. Thank you!”-Military Member

 

  • “My husband is currently deployed on a MEU and is only able to use the phone on the ship to call home. He has yet to dock so I have not heard his voice since he has left on deployment because the phone is too expensive to use on the boat. He is currently on a ship so he can only use specific calling cards. It has been months since I have heard my husband’s voice our only communication has been email. Thank you so much for your help!” –Military Spouse

 

  • “I have approximately 40 members that I oversee and these calling cards allow bits of morale that are unprecedented allowing our troops to stay in contact with their loved ones. I have requested cards through this website before and I do so monthly. I Thank you for your magnificent program military support and welcome any questions. During these approaching holidays these cards become increasingly more important and are greatly appreciated. Thank you!”-Military member

 

  • “Hello I am requesting Phone cards for my husband stationed in turkey away from me and our new baby girl for the holidays and the months to follow (until April). His internet is very very poor over there so I am requesting this for him 🙂 We rely primarily on phone cards for any communication.” –Military Spouse
November 25, 2015

Honor Your Heroes and Yourself this #GivingTuesday, December 1

giving-tuesday-2015The research is clear: giving not only benefits recipients, but it boosts:

  • the givers’ health and happiness,
  • promotes social connection and
  • can strengthen entire communities.

And between Thanksgiving and Christmas there’s a day that marks the perfect time to celebrate this spirit of generosity that increases quality of life, for you and those you love.

On this December 1, #GIVINGTUESDAY, a global day dedicated to giving back, you can honor a loved one with a simple, powerful gift of a monetary donation or a gently used cell phone, smart phone or tablet to Cell Phones For Soldiers. And reap all the rewards, from increased health, happiness, sense of well-being, better relations, and the knowledge that your gift is doing the same for American troops and veterans in need.

Your donation on #GivingTuesday is one way to build gratitude in everyday life. According to Barbara Fredrickson, a pioneering happiness researcher, “cultivating gratitude in everyday life is one of the keys to increasing personal happiness.”

From here, it’s easy to see how giving can create a virtuous cycle, spreading from one generous act.

Consider giving yourself, your loved ones and Cell Phones For Soldiers a gift of happiness and health this #Giving Tuesday, December 1 (and get a tax deduction!), in the following ways:

By supporting us on #GivingTuesday, you will assist in providing a lifeline to America’s bravest.

  • A $10 donation= 5 hours of talk time for troops, affording them the opportunity to hear their child’s voice during the holidays.
  • A $25 donation = 12.5 hours of talk time for troops.
  • A $50 donation = one cell phone with one month of service for a veteran, allowing them to find a job or speak to a doctor.
  • A $100 donation= new eye glasses for a veteran. 

 

Make a monetary donation now.

You can also support Cell Phones For Soldiers’ efforts by:

Thank you for your support on #GivingTuesday and all year in providing a lifeline for America’s bravest.

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