Cell Phones For Soldiers Inc

Rating: 4.78 stars   41 reviews

Issues: Veterans

Location: 243 Winter St Norwell MA 02061 USA

Mission: Cell Phones For Soldiers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing free means of communication to the men and women serving in the United States military.
Results: Provided more than 90 million minutes of pre-paid calling cards Prevented more than 7.5 million phones from ending up in landfills Cell Phones for Soldiers mails approximately 10,000 calling cards a week
Target demographics: troops and veterans.
Direct beneficiaries per year: more than 380,000 troops and veterans with communication tools/calling cards
Programs: Minutes That Matter, the charity’s long-standing program, provides free calling cards to servicemen and women. Since 2004, the charity has provided more than 204 million minutes of free talk time for troops and veterans. On average, the charity fulfills 7,500 calling card requests each week. Helping Heroes Home, was created July 2012 to aid veterans with emergency financial assistance. The program assists with one-time emergency needs such as providing a cell phone and service; computer and internet; paying for rent to avoid eviction; imperative car repairs; and more.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I am the President of the KIWANIS Club of Poway and have been assisting with the collection of gently used cell phones as the Program Chair for the Cell-Phones-for-Soldiers (CPFS) organization. Our team of volunteers (Bob K., Dave M. & I) have it down to a science. Simply stated, Bob and I periodically collect the cell phones from collection boxes placed at our High School, Library, Local Banks and a few restaurants and then pass them on to Dave. Dave is our key volunteer for this program since he removes the batteries and also the sim cards from the phones, since many donors forget to remove both before donating their phone. Dave returns them to me and I obtain a prepaid shipping label from the CPFS organization so that (non-officer) military personnel stationed overseas can call their loved ones back home in the USA. As of today, our KIWANIS Club of Poway has collected over 2,600 cell phones since April 2012! Ten years ago our Poway City Council adopted the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion of the 1st Marine Division based at Camp Pendleton. These courageous men and women serving our country were able to utilize the 60 minute prepaid calling cards (each phone collected earns one 60 minute prepaid international calling card) while stationed on overseas duty, since their Family Readiness Officer (Michelle K) reached out to CPFS to obtain more than 300 calling cards for the 1st LAR Battalion unit. Last year, I was collecting a box of recyclable cell phones, and a mother of a military troop said she was really excited to learn about this great program and would have her son contact the CPFS organization to see if he could qualify in obtaining a phone card since he was stationed in the Middle East. This mother said she rarely spoke to her young 20 year old son because they had to limit their conversation to 3 minutes since the costs were prohibitive (she quoted me $40/minute). Tears filled my eyes since I am a mother and cannot imagine the feeling of being limited in speaking to my son/daughter for only 3 minutes twice a month. We often take freedom for granted but must remember to help those who continue to fight for freedom and democracy. If you have cell phones that are no longer being used, please donate them to the CPFS program. Website: http://www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com/ THANK YOU.

God Bless America,

Joyce H., KIWANIS Club of Poway, President

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Hello, I was introduced to Cell Phones For Soldiers when my son was sent to OIF in 2005. I worked for a local "Bank" at that time that had a Veterans Team Member Network program and I became involved with them. While we were gathering items to send overseas to the troops I heard about this program. I gathered cell phones from our whole Division and then some from other Divisions and turned them in on a quarterly basis. I was able to speak to my son daily through his MOS being in communications, but the other men (USMarines) didn't have that luxury so I began sending them cards. It truly made their days knowing they could call home and talk with their friends and families, just to hear a familiar voice, and it was a free gift.

Our military gives so much for us, along with their families. This program has been a God send to those who had no other way to call home. The process of gathering these phones and submitting them to the addressed facility is all very simple..........

I would like to say thank you to the brother/sister team that created this option. You have done an absolutely awesome job and from what I recently read on your website you have started branching out for the Veterans that are returning home. Stick with it, we will continue to help you and our military, just keep us posted............. From a Very Proud USM MOM, I thank you. Georgina Turner, Salisbury NC 10202014

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I was first involved with Cell Phones for Soldiers as an employee of the company that processed the donated phones. I was so impressed with the dedication, hard work, compassion and caring of the organization and in particular the Bergquist family. Their tireless efforts have improved the lives of thousands of military men and women and their families. It is an honor to continue to support this organization as a donor and volunteer.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded in 2004 by siblings, Brittany and Robbie Bergquist when they were just 12 and 13 years old. The mission of the charity is to provide free communications to troops before, during and after deployment. On average, Cell Phones for Soldiers provides over 7,000 prepaid calling cards every week. This enables military families to talk to their loved ones without creating a financial burden. Thousands of troops and their families have been given the priceless gift of a phone call home, as they defend our freedom across the globe.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

greeting troops at Pease AFB in New Hampshire as they are able to speak with their loved ones.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

get them some more volunteer help to keep things running smoothly and to give the family a break.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing first hand the generosity of others, and the hard work of two incredible teenagers who cared enough about our troops to start this charity.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

The Bergquist family and a handful of volunteers that make certain that troops have the ability to call their loved ones.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide a prepaid cell phone to every veteran that needs it.

Ways to make it better...

there were more awareness about the need and more people would donate their used cell phones or cash to support the charity.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the increasing needs of deployed troops, veterans and their families. As more are deployed, the need becomes greater on a daily basis.

One thing I'd also say is that...

the work of this organization is incredible. The Bergquist family manages to juggle full time jobs, school and social activities while running this charity from their home.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-3-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Cell Phones for Soldiers consistently provides necessary lines of communication for men and women serving overseas at no cost to the recipient -- It is easy to donate, request calling cards, or ask questions of the Bergquist family, who continue to run this charity out of their home. A truly grassroots organization from top to bottom!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful



I don't know all the details but I do know for an old cell phone that most of us would just throw away by donating to cell phones for soldiers th hey provide much needed talk time for deployed armed forces personnel to call there loved ones.
This is not about anything but allowing those who keep us and our families safe to contact their families.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

N/A

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Okay

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Our Company started collecting phones last February. Had planned on doing it for a few months. Due to the over whelming response from our small town of less than 1000 people we are still collecting and have no plans on stopping. We have mailed in over 500 phones to date with more coming in each week.
This is a Great Organization and Proud to be a part of it!
Keep up the Great work! I highly recommend every American to join this great cause!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My Nephew and others in his troop received cards and were so pleased!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Wouldn't change a thing!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

This organization is great! No only do they fulfill a need often overlooked by military support groups, but they also help the environment. I've donated many phones over the years and will continue to aid this effort.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

recycling phones to benefit our troops overseas.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Grow the program to support veterans back home.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 3 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

I am sort of disappointed because I have yet to receive any confirmation that the phones I have sent over the past two years were received. I have also submitted names on the website and don't know if any of the soldiers received phone cards. Our AMerican Legion Riders group also does care packages and I would love to know how to get cards back from this organization to put in our packages-just not sure who to contact-haven't had a lot of luck with the email contact-we have been doing this for over two years now-any ideas on how to have a better experience?

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

it is amazing how many people have cell phones laying around that can be recycled

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Send out a confimation of receipt-I know this would take extra money and manpower though.....

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

People are so happy when they give me a phone-it makes them feel like they are doing something worthwhile

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

no experienc

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

use it to make sure that all our troops have the ability to call home

Ways to make it better...

I received confirmation from the phones I sent-I do NOT use prepaid labes-I pay the costs to ship myself and my return address is on every box sent.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Trying to operate cheaply

One thing I'd also say is that...

It's a wonderful program and according to the other comments I've seen, working great-maybe I need to put forth more effort...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I can't say enough good things about Cell Phones for Soldiers. I am part of another non profit organization that supplies soldiers with care packages monthly. We have started collecting old phones, sending them in and in return CPFS gives us the calling cards that we can send in the care packages. Our soldiers are so appreciative of the calling cards.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

They have generoosly shared the calling cards with the non profit organization I participate in that sends care packages monthly to soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-3-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Our American Legion Post Auxiliary recently became a drop off for used cell phones. I have so far sent in two shipments for processing. In addition, I collect addresses for our local soldiers who are deployed or stationed away from their families so that we can send care packages to them. I asked if we could get a couple dozen phone cards to include in this year's Christmas packages... we received 100 cards and thanks to your generosity, our soldiers were able to share phone cards with others stationed and/or deployed with them:-) Thank you!! Vaune/Munising, MI

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

our care package mailing... I collect addresses from our local families who have soldiers deployed. These packages not only help brighten a soldier's day, but also their families here who know that others are caring about their loved ones, too!!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

 
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