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Cell Phones for Soldiers Blog

Challenge Your Friends to Support Troops and Veterans This #GivingTuesday!

November 16, 2017

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!

Land of the Free, Because of the Brave: A Veterans Day Message

November 10, 2017

veterans dayJust like that other special occasion in November, Veterans Day is a day of extraordinary gratitude in the United States. Today, we honor all veterans, past and present, for their service and sacrifice, and we affirm our commitment to never forget their work to protect and defend our nation. We are so thankful.

There are plenty of opportunities to take action in support of veterans in your community and beyond, today and every day. Here are some ideas:

Find an event, bring your kids!

Today, join crowds at your local Veterans Day parade or ceremony to show your support. Bring your children and talk to them about the importance of service, both in the military and outside it.

Volunteer

Check with your local veterans’ services organization to see whether they need help with special events, regular duties or other work. There may be a veteran in your community who needs help with yard work or household chores, transportation to appointments, or simply some friendly company from time to time. Go where the need is.

Share the stories of our oldest veterans

Sixteen million Americans served in World War II. While the nation lost 400,000 troops during the four years of WWII, millions returned home to reenergize a war-fatigued nation. They built homes, started businesses, became parents and continued to serve. Many of them reenlisted to fight in Korea when the time came. Today, there are just about 550,000 left from WWII and 2 million from Korea, and we lose more every day. If you have a WWII or Korean War veteran in your life, and they are comfortable telling their story, ask them to share it with you. Keep their stories alive by recording them and sharing them with the next generation.

Advocate

Write or call your local, state and federal representatives to ask them to increase and protect funding for veterans’ services, including for medical and mental health care that will help heal our nation’s bravest from the physical and psychological effects of war.

Hire

If you own or manage a business, implement a veteran-friendly hiring policy and offer to train veterans in your field. Military service requires leadership, reliability, teamwork and discipline, all traits that make great workers in any industry. Too many veterans leave the military without good employment prospects, which can make the transition to civilian life even more difficult.

Give

Veterans Day is a perfect opportunity to make a charitable contribution to an organization that supports veterans. Here at Cell Phones For Soldiers, our program Helping Heroes Home provides emergency grants for veterans to help with things like eviction avoidance, internet service, home repairs and more. We’ve given aid to more than 3,100 veterans, and aim to help more, with your support. Learn about Helping Heroes Home and donate today.

Cell Phones For Soldiers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Honor Our Troops for National Military Appreciation Month

May 14, 2017

Here at Cell Phones For Soldiers we—and the people who support us—celebrate the troops every day. But the month of May is special: May is National Military Appreciation Month.

Designated by Congress in 1999, National Military Appreciation Month is a time for all Americans to honor and thank the men and women who volunteer to put their lives on hold, and often risk their lives, to serve our country. We also honor those who have died, giving the ultimate sacrifice. We can’t say “thank you” enough.

There are a number of ways you can participate in National Military Appreciation Month: If you own or manage a business, you can offer military discounts to members of the armed forces and their families, or you can commit to hiring veterans; other citizens can participate by saying thank you to the troops, volunteering at organizations that help service members and veterans, and sending care packages.

Supporting Cell Phones For Soldiers is an easy way to give back! You can help by donating money or recycling a cell phone, smartphone, tablet or MP3 player with us, even if the device is nonworking. We use your donations to buy calling cards for the troops and to help veterans here at home. To date, we’ve given more than 300 million minutes of free talk time, and aided 3,100 veterans with emergency grants. Visit our “Get Involved” page to learn more. Cell Phones For Soldiers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Become A Morale-Booster For Our Troops

April 30, 2017

Deployment, for a member of today’s military, often means a year or more away from the comforts of home, from parents, kids, spouses, partners and friends. In many cases, our service members are in dangerous war zones, where a simple call home isn’t as easy as pressing a button on a cell phone.

At Cell Phones For Soldiers, co-founders Rob and Brittany Bergquist decided back in 2004 that a basic need—to check in on loved ones back at home—should be available to our troops when they are hard at work for us. And they shouldn’t have to pay for it. Cell Phones For Soldiers takes the funds from donated cash and recycling your mobile devices, and buys calling cards to send to troops who are hard at work all over the globe. To date, we’ve sent more than 300 million minutes of talk time to servicemen and women.

Receiving such a useful donation from home can provide a needed morale boost to a man or woman who is deployed. It can be a reminder to them that we are grateful for their service. A Marine Corps major once told the New York Times: “If they know the American people are supportive, my troops will walk through fire for them.”

You can be part of that support network for our troops, by donating money or your unwanted cell phones, smartphones, tablets and MP3 players to Cell Phones For Soldiers. If you know of a member of the military who should receive a calling card, please visit this link to fill out their contact information

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.