Our name, Cell Phones For Soldiers, reflects our origins nearly 15 years ago and our evolution since: In April 2004, siblings Brittany and Rob Bergquist, then in middle school, founded Cell Phones For Soldiers with the mission of collecting donated phones to send to troops serving abroad, so they can avoid the exorbitant costs of using their personal phones to make international calls home.
We learned, however, that the costs and security risks of sending devices to war zones were prohibitive. Instead, we began safely turning donated phones into valuable recycled material, and we use the income from recycling to buy calling cards for our troops. To date, Cell Phones For Soldiers has provided more than 300 million minutes of free, secure talk time to men and women serving our country, all thanks to our generous donors.
We’re more than our name in other ways, too: We don’t, of course, only help Army Soldiers, but Sailors, Marines, Air Force members, and Coast Guardsmen, to reach all branches of the United States armed forces.
Continued, generous donations helped us branch out in service to our veterans in 2012 with our Helping Heroes Home program, which provides a one-time grant to help veterans adjust to the transition into civilian life. Through Helping Heroes Home, veterans work with veteran services officers to identify needs and receive help. We have been able to assist more than 4,500 of our nation’s brave veterans in the past seven years.
Since starting Cell Phones For Soldiers in their kitchen with the help of their parents, the Bergquists have gone on to represent our organization in local and national media, and they continue to inspire young people to get involved in their communities with the message that it’s never too early to make positive, meaningful change in the world.
As we near our 15th anniversary this year, we hope you will help us continue our mission, which is as strong as ever: Helping our troops stay connected with their loved ones, and helping veterans in need. You can donate funds or send us your unwanted cell phones, smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, and you can spread the word to your families and friends.
Cell Phones For Soldiers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.