News & Media

Cell Phones for Soldiers Blog

Eliminating Communication Headaches For Our Troops

April 22, 2017

Support HeroesCBS News in Boston recently ran a story about Air Force veteran Jeff Gordon, whose cell phone service provider billed him for service he didn’t use while serving our country abroad.

Jeff learned that Verizon had not received the paperwork he faxed to announce his deployment, and never realized that the suspension didn’t take place until his mortgage company noticed the missed payment on his credit report.

Since the story came to light, Verizon wiped out the bills Jeff and a fellow Air Force veteran were charged, and has now changed its policy to allow service members to suspend their accounts via email, instead of fax, during their deployment.

Even if our troops can’t use their own devices while deployed, we at Cell Phones For Soldiers want to make sure they maintain their important connections with family and loved ones while they’re serving. We take your unwanted cell phones, smartphones, tablets and MP3 players and recycle them for their valuable materials, turning that money into calling cards for our troops. We also accept cash donations.

Between our Minutes that Matter program, which has provided more than 300 million minutes of talk time to our troops, and our Helping Heroes Home program, through which we’ve provided more than 3,000 veterans with emergency grants, Cell Phones For Soldiers is committed to lifting some of the financial burden off our military members.

To donate to Cell Phones For Soldiers, visit our “Get Involved” page. Cell Phones For Soldiers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Cell Phones For Soldiers Celebrates 13 Years

April 10, 2017

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.

Why We Help Heroes Home

April 4, 2017

A soldier doesn’t stop being a soldier when he or she hangs up their uniform. They are still the same people who risked life and limb to serve their country, and we owe them our support as they transition into civilian life.

That’s why Cell Phones For Soldiers began its Helping Heroes Home program in 2012. We recognize that life after service can bring a number of challenges, whether they are physical, emotional or financial, and that’s why we extended our program to aid veterans.

Through their donations, our supporters have helped more than 3,100 veterans overcome communication challenges and physical, emotional and assimilation hardships with communication services, imperative car repairs, rent payment to avoid eviction, and more.

To request assistance for yourself or a veteran you know who needs help, please visit our Helping Heroes Home page and fill out the form. Requests are kept confidential, but we do need contact information and permission to confirm some information with the office of Veterans Affairs.

To donate to Cell Phones For Soldiers, either by contributing funds or recycling your old mobile device, visit our page on getting involved. Cell Phones For Soldiers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Plymouth 400 Recognizes Cell Phones For Soldiers Founders

April 3, 2017

Recently, Plymouth 400 recognized Cell Phones For Soldiers Co-Founders Rob and Brittany Bergquist with its “One Small Candle” award. Our partnership with the organization, which is preparing to honor Plymouth Colony’s 400th anniversary, continued beyond the award: Eight Plymouth businesses affiliated with the organization served as drop-off locations for Cell Phones For Soldiers!

The “One Small Candle” award is given each year at Plymouth 400’s Illuminate Thanksgiving event to an individual or group that has made a positive impact on their community, their country, or their world. The award is inspired by Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford’s famous quote, “As one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many.” Plymouth 400 stated that Rob and Brittany, siblings who started Cell Phones For Soldiers at the ages of 12 and 13, have made “the lives of so many of our service men and women a little brighter with their work.”

As Plymouth 400 gets ready to celebrate four centuries of history in Plymouth, Massachusetts, they are introducing special Plymouth license plates for Massachusetts drivers. Low-number plates will be auctioned off, beginning April 19, and ending June 3, 2017. To bid on a plate, visit: www.myplymouthplate.org.

For more information about Plymouth 400, visit their website.

Keeping Watch Across the World

March 29, 2017

Support HeroesWe may not see daily updates on military action in the Middle East on the news anymore, but that doesn’t mean our troops aren’t still hard at work across the globe to keep us safe.

According to Visual Capitalist, there are more than 200,000 U.S. troops deployed overseas in 177 countries. Check out the cool infographics on their page to see just how widespread our military truly is.

Of course, deployment in some cases means that military servicemen and women are far from home, and missing events in the lives of their family and friends. That’s where Cell Phones For Soldiers comes in.

When you donate money or your old mobile devices to Cell Phones For Soldiers, you provide hours of free talk time to our troops. Just a $5 donation provides 2 1/2 hours of talk time, a respite from the stress of deployment and an opportunity to connect with the people they love.

For more information on donating cell phones, smartphones or tablets; or on making a cash donation, please visit our donation page. Cell Phones For Soldiers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.