Cell Phones for Soldiers Announces Free Phone Program for Returning Troops

"Helping Heroes Home" Campaign Assists Transition to Civilian Life

Jan 11, 2010, 12:49 ET from Cell Phones for Soldiers

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to a growing need to support military members returning from active duty, Cell Phones for Soldiers today announced an expansion of their services by offering free cell phones to all armed forces returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

To achieve this goal, the charity is calling on all Americans to donate their old phones to the cause. The free phones are drawn from those donated by individuals and corporations; to achieve this goal, an additional 1 million phones will need to be donated in 2010.

"With tens of thousands of our brave troops returning from active duty this year, the need to help them get back on their feet here at home has never been greater," said Brittany Bergquist, cofounder of Cell Phones for Soldiers. "We are thrilled to be able to provide this tremendous service to our brave men and women."

The Helping Heroes Home campaign relies on the donations of used phones. Qualifying phones are refurbished and given to requesting soldiers along with a month of calling time. Other donated phones will either be recycled or used to fund the charity's free calling-card program for troops overseas.

Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded in 2004 by brother and sister Robbie and Brittany Bergquist. To date, they have provided more than 60,000,000 minutes of free calling cards thanks to a national network of individual and corporate supporters donating phones and money.

"There are more than 130 million phones retired every year in the United States," said Robbie Bergquist, cofounder of Cell Phones for Soldiers. "If just 2% of all American's were to donate their phones, we could supply every troop with a phone as a small measure of the gratitude of a nation."

Sponsors for this initiative include the Consumer Electronics Association, One Source Inc. and ReCellular Inc.

About Cell Phones for Soldiers:

Cell Phones for Soldiers was created by Brittany & Robbie Bergquist of Norwell MA. After reading a story about a soldier who ran up a huge phone bill calling home from Iraq, these two teenagers decided to help out. They started by opening an account with $21.00 of their own money. They are collecting cash donations and old cell phones. The cell phones are recycled for cash and the proceeds are used to buy prepaid calling cards for our soldiers serving in the Middle East. Cell Phones For Soldiers is a registered 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. Their efforts have motivated people and businesses around the country to donate to this worthy cause. Their goal is to provide every US soldier with a way to call home for free. For more information, please visit www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com

SOURCE Cell Phones for Soldiers