In 2004, 13- and 15-year-old Robbie and Brittany Bergquist of Norwell, Mass., founded Cell Phones for Soldiers with $21 of their own money. Since then, the non-profit has raised millions of dollars.
Livonia, MI (PRWEB) June 30, 2011
General Motors Co., Invest in America and more than 270 credit unions across the country are supporting the 150,000 U.S. troops currently stationed overseas by collecting used cell phones. Credit union members can support the collection drive by donating their phones at more than 700 participating credit union branches.
“Over the past few years, we have been amazed by the generosity of others. But, we have also seen the need to support our troops continue,” says Brittany Bergquist, Cell Phones for Soldiers co-founder. “It is easy for Americans to make a small sacrifice of support by donating their unused cell phones, and providing families with a much-needed connection to their loved ones overseas.”
In 2004, 13- and 15-year-old Robbie and Brittany Bergquist of Norwell, Mass., founded Cell Phones for Soldiers with $21 of their own money. Since then, the non-profit has raised millions of dollars in donations and distributed millions of prepaid calling cards to soldiers serving overseas.
“Invest in America is proud to support U.S. soldiers, teaming up with GM to contribute to a worthy cause like Cell Phones for Soldiers,” says David Adams, chief executive officer of CU Solutions Group which runs the Invest in America program. “Not-for-profit credit unions are deeply connected to their communities, so we support American companies and American troops overseas.”
Cell Phone for Soldiers hopes to collect more than 1 million cell phones in 2011 and to raise more than $10 million in the next five years to fund new programs, such as providing video phones and prepaid service to allow troops abroad to see their families on a regular basis.
“We are continuously overwhelmed by the enthusiastic support of thousands of Americans who have helped our troops speak with their loved ones,” says the teens’ father, Bob Bergquist. “However, the need for support keeps growing as more troops are sent to the Middle East or are asked to serve extended tours of duty.”
The donated phones are sent to ReCellular, which pays Cell Phones for Soldiers for each phone – the money is used to purchase prepaid calling cards which are sent to troops.
Approximately half of the phones ReCellular processes are reconditioned and resold to wholesale companies in over 40 countries around the world. Phones and components that cannot be refurbished are dismantled and 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
- Plastic from phone cases and accessories
CU Solutions Group, a marketing, technology and human resources company based in Livonia, Michigan, holds contracts with U.S.-based companies for exclusive credit union member discounts through the “Invest in America” program. Its role is to provide marketing and technology support for credit unions on these membership enhancement programs. For more information on Invest in America, visit http://www.lovemycreditunion.org or follow @Lovemycreditunion on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/LoveMyCU.