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Cell Phones For Soldiers Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Military & Veterans Organizations, Veterans

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 220 million minutes of pre-paid calling cards Prevented more than 13 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 50,000 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 220 million minutes of free talk time for troops and veterans. On average, the charity fulfills 2,500 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.

Community Stories

82 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Cell Phones for Soldiers is a wonderful organization. They are very helpful and courteous. The soldiers are in the charities best interest!!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I run a small non-profit in memory of my husband who was killed in the 9/11 attacks. In addition to providing local assistance to families who need it, we support the military in a variety of ways, including sending care packages and hosting a large holiday party for families of the deployed, injured and fallen service members. CellPhones for Soldiers is always where we turn so we can include phone cards in the packages. CPFS has also made a generous donation to help support the holiday party. Additionally, they donate 500 - 1000 phone cards each September to Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund for our 9/11 Service project, when we send 500-1000 care packages to the deployed troops. CellPhones for Soldiers is how service members connect with their loved ones at home. They go above and beyond, sometimes providing ipads or phones to soldiers who need them in unique situations. CPFS founders, Brittany and Robbie (and their parents), are my personal heroes and a great example of how a basic idea CAN make a significant difference!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

To whom it may concern,
My boyfriend is a deployed soldier who is in the Marines told me the other day that he some how dropped his phone in water which has ruined his iphone; he now has no way to talk to his son. Is there anyway to get him a free donated iphone sent to him ASAP? my name is Debra Arnold please respond ASAP to my email address: angeldebra0214@ymail. com please help me to make it possible so this sad deployed soldier can talk to his son, it is Christmas and he won't be able to come home for Christmas. Please help make this Christmas special for this father and son.
Sincerely,
Debra Arnold

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

4 Pamela83

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am speaking as a mother, I feel that if this program assisting soldiers did not exist, families would not be able to keep in touch with loved ones. It is important for people here at home, to hear, from our beloved soldiers here and abroad

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I am from the corporate office of Pak Mail Centers of America, and our office and our nationwide franchised locations are long time supporters of Cell Phones for Soldiers. This organization is one of the most amazing non-profit operations that supports our military.

We recently teamed up with Cell Phones for Soldiers for a month-long phone donation drive for Military Appreciation Month this past May. Our franchisees look forward to helping boost cell phone donations, and when we have military-focused events, holidays, and everyday social media promotions, we always look for ways to team with with CPFS.

Pak Mail locations collect mobile phone donations and ship to Cell Phones for Soldiers partner, who refurbishes the phones to then provide calling cards for soldiers serving overseas. It is a program that all Pak Mail locations are proud to support, and we are proud to partner and support Cell Phones for Soldiers in any way that we can!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

2 sue-koch

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Beginning at a dining room table by 2 very compassionate teens, Cell Phones for Soldiers was born. This organization has provided that ever-important link to their loved ones at no cost while serving far from home. In my opinion, Cell Phones For Soldiers is the greatest non-profit for providing free calling cards to our service men and women.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have worked with Cell Phones For Soldiers since they were founded in 2004. They have changed the lives of thousands of military families by providing free calling cards to our troops which allow them to stay connected to their families while they are deployed all around the globe. Cell Phones For Soldiers has been the life mission of the Bergquist family for the last decade and as the charity enters its second decade they are expanding their mission to provide support to our military veterans through Helping Heroes Home, a sister organization to Cell Phones For Soldiers, This selfless family is devoted to giving back to our troops and veterans who have done so much for our great country.

Donor

Rating: 5

Cell Phones For Soldiers is a wonderful organization that provides free calling cards to our brave service men and women abroad so that they can call home for free. And it's all thanks to those volunteers and generous donors out there that collect and donate their old cell phones to the charity. Any active duty military member or veteran can request calling cards directly on their website. What a way to support our troops overseas so they can stay strong by connecting to their loved ones! They also support veterans in need with their sister charity Helping Heroes Home. Love this charity!

2 greene.courtneym

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When two young siblings start a non-profit that has stayed strong for 10 years, provided amazing gifts to our military and their families, how can this result in anything but success! Because of the strong work ethic and the ability to dig in and get the job done, Cell Phones for Soldiers, Inc. is as strong today as when it began. I salute the Berquist family for a job well done and may they know that their hard work and dedication is appreciated by military members all over the world. You are a proud example of watching youth do amazing things for the world and you should be so proud of your accomplishments!

3 gailbergquist

Board Member

Rating: 5

Some Fast Facts about Cell Phones for Soldiers and Helping Heroes Home:

Since 2004, Cell Phones For Soldiers has provided troops with more than 204 million minutes of free talk time and distributed more than 2.9 million international calling cards through its program, Minutes That Matter.

Since 2004, more than 11 million cell phones have been recycled, reducing the impact on landfills.

In 2013, Cell Phones For Soldiers distributed more than 23 million minutes of free talk time and more
than 380,000 calling cards!

A $5 donation warrants 2.5 hours of talk time; a $100.00 donation gives 50 hours or 3,000 minutes of talk time.

There are more than 3,100 public collection points across the nation.

In 2012, Cell Phones For Soldiers launched its newest program, Helping Heroes Home.
Helping Heroes Home provides emergency funds for returning veterans to alleviate communication challenges as well as physical, emotional and assimilation hardships.

Since July 2012, Helping Heroes Home has assisted more than 2500 veterans and their families with emergency funding.

We are so proud to be able to continue to support our brave American troops and their families.
We couldn't do this without our volunteers and donors who so generously give of their time, energy, old cell phones, and funds to make life a bit easier for our service members and veterans. Thank you!!!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Since 2004 Cell Phones for Soldiers has made a difference in the lives of our military members and their loved ones by helping them with their communication needs. We couldn't do this without our wonderful volunteers: individuals, businesses, schools, religious groups, military groups, and large corporations have made Cell Phones for Soldiers what it is today. Together, through the recycling of cell phones~ especially smart phones~ we have been able to provide millions of minutes of talk time. We look forward to continuing to assist our active duty troops as well as our returning veterans through Helping Heroes Home: www.helpingheroeshome.org. Thank you for your continued support!

1 Jay_19

Volunteer

Rating: 5



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.

1 Lori51

Donor

Rating: 5

CPFS is a great way for me to put to better use the unused cell phones laying around my home. So many soldiers are deployed without a way to call home. I love that they will convert my old phones into calling cards.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

CPFS is an organization that has made a huge difference in the lives our troops and their families. Check out the new initiative, Helping Heroes Home: www.helpingheroeshome.org

Review from JustGive

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

Why didn't this charity respond to the BBB's request for information. While I'm sure they are doing good, I normally like to see what their % expenses are before I donate to any charity. It's great theye are helping our troops but what if their overhead is 50%?

1 Greg H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a great charity. They have been donating calling cards to our troops for years and just keep sending more. Plus, they recycle old cell phones and iPods to get the money for the cards. Good for the troops and good for the planet!

3 Larry C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a retired USAF military member and I wish they would have been around when I paid $9 - $12 / minute to call home - their service is to be totally commend - so uncharacteristic of the younger groups to step forward as the two founders did here and put together an organization as they have that has truly helped so many. they get my vote with 5 Stars