Boston, MA (PRWEB) January 29, 2014
On April 12, Cell Phones for Soldiers will celebrate a decade of connecting troops with their loved ones. After 10 years in operation, the charity still provides approximately 7,500 calling cards each week to Unites States military members stationed around the world.
The charity was founded in 2004 with $21, by then 12 and 13-year-old brother and sister, Robbie and Brittany Bergquist. They were inspired by a local solider returning from Iraq who had incurred an almost $8,000 phone bill while deployed.
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. Calling cards can be requested from the charity’s website, cellphonesforsoldiers.com.
The newest program, Helping Heroes Home, was created July 2012 to aid veterans with emergency financial assistance. Since its creation, the program has assisted 400 veterans with one-time emergency needs such as communication services; paying for rent to avoid eviction; imperative car repairs; and more.
Brittany Bergquist, now 23, and a recent graduate of Stonehill College, continues to put her stamp on the charity while also working in marketing for an international toy company.
“After 10 years, we’re thrilled to still be fulfilling our mission of connecting military members with their loved ones,” said Brittany Bergquist, co-founder of Cell Phones for Soldiers. “Thanks to our amazing partners and volunteers, we’ve been afforded the opportunity to assist millions of troops through our Minutes That Matter program, while expanding our mission to support veterans with the creation of the Helping Heroes Home program.”
While balancing his senior year of college at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Robbie Bergquist, now 22, still continues to grow the charity with the addition of new fundraising initiatives like the iPhone buyback program. With this program, a supporter can receive money for an unwanted iPhone and a tax receipt while benefiting the charity.
“When Brittany and I started the charity 10 years ago we only dreamed of assisting this many troops and veterans,” said Robbie Bergquist, co-founder of Cell Phones for Soldiers. “We’ve grown up with the charity, and we’re excited to see what we can continue to do in the next 10 years with the help of our partners and supporters.”
To support Cell Phones for Soldiers’ Helping Heroes Home and Minutes That Matter programs, supporters can:
1. Donate a gently-used mobile phone;
2. Sell a cell phone through the Apple iPhone buyback program;
3. Donate valuable funds.
For more information or to get involved, please visit http://www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com.
ABOUT CELL PHONES FOR SOLDIERS INC
Cell Phones for Soldiers Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing cost-free communication services to active-duty military members and veterans. Based in Norwell, Mass., Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded in 2004 by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, then 12 and 13 years old. The organization has provided more than 204 million minutes of free talk time to deployed military members. Beginning in 2012, “Helping Heroes Home” provides emergency funds for returning veterans to alleviate communication challenges as well as physical, emotional and assimilation hardships. For more information, please visit cellphonesforsoldiers.com, helpingheroeshome.org, Facebook or Twitter.