ONTARIO, Cali. (Nov. 10) Just in time for Veterans Day, the Ontario Parkway Kiwanis are proud to announce a milestone in its mission to support America’s bravest. In a little more than five years the volunteer organization recently donated its 4,000th gently-used cellphone to the national nonprofit Cell Phones For Soldiers.
Under the leadership of Ken Morse, the Kiwanis work with 32 public drop-off sites to support its mission. Since 2011, the group’s support has provided more than 392,000 minutes of free talk time for troops and veterans to connect with loved ones.
“Literally these troops are giving everything they have and sometimes they don’t come home,” said Ken Morse. “When you went to bed last night, you slept good because you don’t have the same worries as our deployed troops. The least we can do is to send a free calling card to help them connect with their loved ones back home. That’s why we continue to serve our military members with this project each year.”
Cell Phones For Soldiers was founded in 2004 by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist at the ages of 12 and 13 after they heard the story of a local soldier with an almost $8,000 cell phone bill. They decided to help this one man with just $21 of their own money and Cell Phones For Soldiers was born from there.
The charity has since provided more than 216 million minutes of free talk time to servicemen and women stationed around the world through its calling card program, Minutes That Matter. Funds raised from the recycling of cellular phones are used to purchase prepaid international calling cards. On average, Cell Phones For Soldiers distributes 1,500 calling cards each week to bases around the world, care package programs, deployment ceremonies and VA hospitals.
“Each year we have been humbled by the amount of people and organizations like Ken Morse and the Ontario Parkway Kiwanis that take the initiative to support our military members,” said co-founder Robbie Bergquist. “The continued support and patriotism from Ken and his fellow Kiwanis allows Cell Phones For Soldiers to continue to provide free means of communication to our troops and veterans.”
For every donated phone valued at $5, Cell Phones For Soldiers is able to provide two and a half hours of free talk time to deployed troops.
Since 2004, more than 11.7 million phones have been recycled or repurposed. Approximately half of the phones processed are reconditioned and reused. Phones and components that cannot be refurbished are dismantled and responsibly recycled to reclaim materials, including:
- Gold, silver and platinum from circuit boards
- Copper wiring from phone chargers
- Nickel, iron, cadmium and lead from battery packs
For more information, please visit www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com.
ABOUT CELL PHONES FOR SOLDIERS INC.
Cell Phones For Soldiers Inc. is a national nonprofit dedicated to serving troops and veterans with free communication services and emergency funding. Founded in 2004 by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, then 12 and 13 years old, Cell Phones For Soldiers has provided more than 216 million “Minutes That Matter” to servicemen and women. Since 2012, “Helping Heroes Home” has provided emergency funds for more than 2,800 veterans to alleviate communication challenges as well as physical, emotional and assimilation hardships. For more information, visit www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com,
ASPIRE Communications for Cell Phones For Soldiers
Ontario Parkway Kiwanis