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4 Great Reasons to Support Cell Phones For Soldiers

July 31, 2018

We’re proud of the work we do here at Cell Phones For Soldiers to support our troops and help veterans in need. Since 2004, we have worked to make a difference in the lives of the brave men and women who serve (and have served) our country in uniform.

And we couldn’t do it without our donors.

Thousands of people and organizations have helped Cell Phones For Soldiers help others, by donating old cell phones and other mobile devices and raising money for our cause. Donors understand the meaningful work we’ve done for the last 14 years, and we’d like to share some of the reasons you should give to Cell Phones For Soldiers to help us continue our mission.

  1. We help our troops stay connected with their loved ones.

Though international calling is less of a hassle than it was when we first started, many deployed troops find that having a personal phone is impossible during a tour, either because of cost or security reasons. Our Minutes That Matter program has given more than 350 million minutes (and counting!) on calling cards to deployed men and women so they can call home. Maintaining connections with home during a deployment is critical to morale and to reassuring families at home.

  1. We recognize the challenges our veterans face.

The transition to civilian life can be mentally, physically and emotionally stressful, and veterans are unemployed at a higher rate than nonveterans. Sometimes that means they can’t meet financial obligations—utility bills, rent, communication costs—and need a little boost. Our Helping Heroes Home program has provided one-time grants to more than 3,000 veterans. We believe that our veterans are owed a lifetime of support for their work protecting our country.

  1. We’re green!

Our name is a bit of a misnomer. Instead of giving recycled cell phones, smartphones, tablets and other devices directly to military servicemen and women, we recycle them for their valuable parts that can be sold and reused. This serves a number of environmentally friendly purposes: it keeps electronic waste from landfills, where harmful materials can cause damage to human health and fragile ecosystems; recycling plastic helps us do our part to keep non-biodegradable material out of our oceans; and recycling the rare earth metals used in electronic devices reduces the need for mining.

To date, we have recycled more than 15 MILLION mobile devices!

  1. It’s easy to give.

You can contribute to Cell Phones For Soldiers by donating money directly and securely through our website, or by sending us your old cell phones and mobile devices. You can either print off a shipping label here and send in your recycled items or find one of thousands of drop-off sites by doing a location search.

Cell Phones For Soldiers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and we rely on your tax-deductible donations to help us help our country’s bravest men and women. Even a small donation makes a difference—give today!

Upgrading Cell Phones for the New School Year? Recycle Your Old Devices to Help Our Heroes

July 18, 2018

It’s hard to believe that retailers are already announcing back-to-school sales, because it feels as if summer just started!

But as you’re getting ready to send your kids back to school or off to college, you may be preparing to take advantage of those sales and upgrade your mobile devices: cell phones, smartphones, and tablets. When you do, please recycle your old electronics with Cell Phones For Soldiers!

Recycling your old cell phones, smartphones, tablets and other devices with Cell Phones For Soldiers helps our troops stay connected with their loved ones while they’re deployed, and helps veterans with one-time emergency funds to handle difficulties in transitioning to civilian life. We take donated devices and recycle them for their valuable components, then use that income to provide free calling cards for our troops, or grants for veterans. To date, generous donations have allowed us to give more than 300 million minutes of completely free talk time and have helped more than 3,100 veterans.

Recycling your cell phone with us also serves another wonderful purpose: it keeps electronics out of the landfill, where they can have harmful effects on human and wildlife health, as well as cause damage to fragile ecosystems. Never put your old cell phones in the trash! Instead, recycle them with Cell Phones For Soldiers and help our country’s heroes in the process.

To donate cell phones, smartphones, tablets and digital music players to Cell Phones For Soldiers, either find a drop-off location near you, or mail your devices.

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

This Fourth of July, Celebrate Freedom

July 3, 2018

The Fourth of July brings about images and fond memories of fireworks and parades, of family and friends celebrating, beach vacations and backyard barbecues. It is a wonderful day to be an American, and to honor the great things that make our country home.

Historically, we observe the ratification on July 4, 1776 of the Declaration of Independence, signaling the establishment of the United States of America and freedom from British rule, and setting forth foundational values for our country that have lasted centuries: “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

In the 242 years since, millions of Americans have fought at home and abroad to ensure the survival of those values, and the rights laid out in our Constitution. Our military and the men and women serving in its branches have enabled the United States to develop and preserve those rights.

Of course, freedom for all Americans did not come with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Our country has seen, in movements toward equality among races, socioeconomic classes and genders, and in battles against tyranny across the globe, Americans’ active desire for independence, over and over again. Our pursuit of independence is a unique and beautiful part of what makes the Fourth of July much more than an historic remembrance. Freedom isn’t a one-time fight.

So, as you celebrate the Fourth of July, we hope you will reflect on the concept of freedom, and the men and women who work tirelessly to preserve it for all Americans. There are 1.3 million Americans in uniform stationed around the world. Hundreds of thousands of them are deployed internationally, while we celebrate at home.

Please take a moment today to feel grateful for the service of our military and our veterans.

At Cell Phones For Soldiers, we honor those brave men and women every day by helping them stay connected with their families and loved ones. We also help veterans with one-time grants to meet the challenges of returning to civilian life. If you would like to donate to our cause, either by sending in your old cell phone or mobile device to be recycled, or by donating cash, you can do so here.

Thank you, and have a Happy Fourth of July!

You Can Make A Difference: Hold A Cell Phones For Soldiers Collection Drive

June 26, 2018

You don’t have to be famous, or have a ton of money to donate, to make a big, positive impact on the lives of our troops and their loved ones. You don’t even have to be an adult! We are supported all the time by community-minded individuals and organizations who hold drives on behalf of Cell Phones For Soldiers.

A Cell Phones For Soldiers collection drive is a great way to unite a community behind a common cause: helping our deployed men and women in uniform call home for free. Our organization also helps veterans in need.

Whether you belong to a religious community, local club or organization, sports team or are a student in school, holding a collection drive is an opportunity for you to raise awareness for a great cause, as well as receive publicity for your organization.

And you can get creative with your drive! Ask people to turn in an old cell phone, smartphone or mobile device instead of an admission cost to a community event; offer discounts for people who participate at your business; or turn it into an all-day event.

Students at Lake Orion High School in Orion Township, Michigan, have raised thousands of dollars for Cell Phones For Soldiers since 2014 through an innovative fundraiser, Cell Out for Soldiers. Instead of donating a device, participating students pay a small amount of money and give up their own phones for a day. The money helps Cell Phones For Soldiers provide free calling cards to our troops, and the phone-free day helps students connect with one another face-to-face.

If you’d like to help troops and veterans by holding a Cell Phones For Soldiers drive, you can get started here. Then contact your local newspaper, TV station or community groups on Facebook and let people know what’s happening!

Remember to tag Cell Phones For Soldiers in photos of your events on Facebook, so we can share your great work with our supportive and patriotic community!

Happy Father’s Day To Our Military Dads

June 12, 2018

We’ve all seen those reunion videos. The ones from school assemblies, games, or church celebrations, where the son or daughter of a serviceman doesn’t know that Dad is in the audience, or behind the umpire’s mask, or in the Santa suit.

The raw emotion in those precious moments stirs our hearts and brings tears to our eyes. We can almost feel what the military kid is feeling: Dad is home, Dad is safe.

There are more than 500,000 kids in America with a deployed parent. With men outnumbering women in active duty, that’s a lot of fathers who are spending time away from their families, missing big moments in their kids’ lives and waiting for those happy, heartwarming reunions—whether they’re caught on camera or not. Some of our troops even become fathers for the first time when they’re overseas, missing the births of their kids in order to protect our country.

And it’s a lot of fathers who won’t spend this Father’s Day weekend with their families.

It’s important—for our troops and for their families at home—to be able to check in during deployments. A phone call can catch them up with milestones big and small: a baby’s first steps, a great report card, a teen’s new driver’s license. Military spouses and kids can get reassurance that Dad is working hard and doing well, and they can talk about the realities and challenges of deployment that only these brave families truly understand.

At Cell Phones For Soldiers, our mission is to keep our military families in touch, with free calling cards they can use anywhere on the planet. We also help veterans through our Helping Heroes Home program, with one-time grants to help with everything from communication needs to emergency rent payment.

This Father’s Day, we ask that you support our mission, to help keep military families connected, and help veterans adjust to the challenges of civilian life.

You can help Cell Phones For Soldiers in two easy ways: by donating an old cell phone, smartphone or mobile device (used or new, working or not!), or by making a cash donation.

We are wishing a Happy Father’s Day to all our military and veteran fathers!

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

This Memorial Day, Pay Tribute to the Fallen

May 22, 2018

Since our country’s earliest days, brave men and women have given their lives to protect America’s safety and values. The ultimate sacrifice is so named because it is the greatest possible example of service over self.

On Memorial Day, we recognize and remember those people and their loss, and we offer comfort to the loved ones they have left behind. Although for many people, Memorial Day is a day off and the unofficial start of summer, for others, it is a solemn day of mourning and remembrance.

Here at Cell Phones For Soldiers, our mission is to help active-duty troops and veterans, and you can get involved with our cause by donating funds or recycling your old cell phones, smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. If you’d like to get involved, you can learn more here.

But Memorial Day is not about the living. It’s not necessarily a day to say “thank you for your service” to men and women in uniform or veterans; in fact, it may be painful for some who survived combat while their close friends and members of their company or unit did not.

There are many ways to honor Memorial Day that respect our fallen men and women and their families, as well as pay tribute to their ultimate sacrifice on our beloved country’s behalf:

Attend Memorial Day services in your community. Cities, counties and states honor local and regional heroes who have given their lives in service with parades, White Cross ceremonies, moments of silence and days of community service.

Fly your American flag. On Memorial Day, flags are lowered to half-staff.

Visit a national cemetery or local memorial and reflect on the service of the fallen.

Learn the stories of your community’s heroes; often, public libraries and historical societies will contain records about local men and women who lost their lives in battle. Share stories about their heroism with your family to build a deeper understanding of your community’s contributions to American history.

Reach out. Your friends and family members who have served in the military may approach Memorial Day with mixed feelings, including sadness or anger. Let them know they have your support.

We hope everyone reading this has a peaceful and reflective Memorial Day.

A Salute To Military Moms

May 10, 2018

“Hi, Mom.”

Those two words can precede almost anything: a simple question, a heartfelt memory, a worry, a joke, a problem to solve, or just a simple check-in.

Moms are a universal go-to resource in so many circumstances, whether their kids are 5 or 50: a call to Mom can bring comfort just when their kids need it the most. That’s why, this Mother’s Day, we’re proud to celebrate our mission of keeping our military Moms connected with their children and spouses during deployments.

Through our Minutes That Matter program, Cell Phones For Soldiers has provided more than 300 million minutes of free talk time to our troops so those “Hi, Mom” calls can be placed from any corner of the earth.

The generous donations of old cell phones and mobile devices, as well as funds, have enabled moms in uniform to catch up with their children at home—bridging the distance until they can be reunited. These free minutes of calling time allow the spouses and partners of our troops to feel connected, and they help the proud mothers of military servicemen and women stay in touch during stressful times.

Whether you’re a mom in the military, raising kids with a service member, or you’ve raised a son or daughter to become one of our nation’s bravest, we salute you. “Military Mom” is a label that comes with strength, courage, sacrifice, and pride.

If you’d like to support military mothers with free communication, you can donate to Cell Phones For Soldiers by sending in your old cell phones and mobile devices, or by donating money. Donate today to give a “Hi, Mom” conversation to a family dedicated to serving our country.

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.

This Earth Day, Recycle Your Devices Safely With Cell Phones For Soldiers

April 15, 2017

At Cell Phones For Soldiers, we are proud to recycle old cell phones and mobile devices responsibly. In doing so, we are able to extract the valuable materials contained in these devices, and turn them into money that we use to buy calling cards for the troops and to support our veterans and their families.

This work also has another incredible benefit: it keeps consumer electronics from being discarded in ways that can harm the environment.

Every year in the United States, people improperly discard 3 million tons of electronic waste, which contains PCBs, cadmium, mercury and lead, substances that are toxic and can even be carcinogenic! If mismanaged, those substances can leach into soil, endangering our precious ecosystem and potentially contaminating our food and water supply.

This Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, consider donating your unused cell phones, smartphones, tablets and MP3 players to Cell Phones For Soldiers. We’re committed to recycling your devices in a safe, environmentally friendly way, and as always, to supporting our troops, our veterans and their families.