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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.

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.