It’s almost a no-brainer to collect old mobile phones, when there’s so many of them lying around the house gathering dust. And when the cause is as noble as for troops away from safeguarding your country, the collection takes on an altered meaning altogether. The phone becomes an instrument of sanity amidst the soldier’s harsh world of violence, death, destruction and despair…wondering if he will be able to spend this year’s Christmas with family?
Fueled by a passion to help
As the question mark hangs like a dangling sword over one’s head, here are some remarkable stories from founders Robbie and Brittany Berquist. The stories highlight what inspired them to help American soldiers stay in touch with their families using Alexandar Bell’s hugely reincarnated innovation -the mobile.
“Back in 2004, we heard of a soldier who had accumulated an $8,000 cell phone bill while calling home from abroad. We were taken aback and wanted to make sure he didn’t have to pay that cell phone bill!”
“There was a soldier who was determined to make a call home to his family. He had been working for 24 hours straight and had a short break in between going back to work. He travelled a great distance and waited in line for 4 hours to make a phone call back home. After the call, it was straight back to work with little to no rest. That kind of commitment to connect with his family was shocking and inspiring. These phone calls mean a lot to families and the call minutes we are providing are critical to them.”
We have come a long way
Today we have raised $15 million and helped American soldiers posted overseas to stay in touch with their families free of cost. We have provided provide more than 300 million minutes of free talk time by sending more than 5 million calling cards to servicemen and women and mobile phone recycling of more than 15 million instruments. Each contribution worth $5 enables us to provide 2.5 hours of talk time for America’s bravest men and women.
Our efforts at recycling mobile phones have helped troops keep track of important developments back home. One hears stories of a baby born two months after a soldier leaves for war or a soldier who joins forces just a few months after being married, leaving his young bride at home. The ability to keep in constant contact will make an enormous difference for the soldier who will almost feel he is back home and not so far away. Every moment of talk time becomes precious and memorable. The phone takes on a veil of a buddy, and you can be an instrument in playing a small role towards it.
Apart from the feel-good factor, your contribution will help re-cycle e-Waste and put it to good use, as you do your bit towards saving our planet.