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.