CELL PHONES FOR SOLDIERS TO PROVIDE 750,000 FREE COMMUNICATION TOOLS IN 2011
Charity Calls on Partners to Aid in Bridging Communication Gap
Norwell, Mass. (Jan. 31, 2011) – Cell Phones for Soldiers Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing FREE calls home to U.S. armed forces, today announced its commitment to provide 750,000 communication tools in 2011 to troops stationed around the world, fulfilling a financial and emotional need of deployed armed forces.
The charity hopes to fulfill its goal for 2011 through new alliances and continued partnerships with corporate supporters including AT&T, General Motors, Santa Rita Wine and many valuable partners consisting of corporate partners, small businesses, individuals, non-profit organizations, faith institutes, school groups and others. Supporters have raised funds for the program through the collection of used mobile phones and the contribution of cash donations.
“Each year we are overwhelmed by the amount of requests received from deployed soldiers,” said Brittany Bergquist, co-founder of Cell Phones for Soldiers. “Without the support of loyal partners, we would not be able to provide precious calls home to thousands of military members. We felt setting a goal for 2011 would create not only a barometer for success but also challenge current and new supporters to creatively engage and activate for troops around the world.”
The Center for American Progress claims 42 percent of military personnel feel like a guest in their own home following deployment and that one in five returning troops suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Cell Phones for Soldiers hopes to bridge the support gap by fulfilling the emotional need for families to communicate on a regular basis during deployments by providing free calls home.
Calling home from overseas is a costly expense. Roaming fees from Afghanistan average $3.99 a minute, making a call home a rarity for many military professionals. Thanks to supporters, Cell Phones for Soldiers can provide calls home free of charge. The charity’s largest contributors in 2010 were AT&T, General Motors and Santa Rita Wine.
AT&T, a premier wireless communications company collected used mobile phones for the charity resulting in $1 million in donations.
General Motors committed to provide Cell Phones for Soldiers with $1 million in donations through the collection of used mobile phones and cash donations. Phone collection efforts have warranted 11,000 hours of talk time for military overseas. A generous cash donation also was contributed in 2010, providing the charity with $20,000 in funds for military communication programs. The effort will continue in 2011.
Santa Rita Wine, and parent company Palm Bay Imports, provided the program with more than $60,000 in monetary contributions.
“This year we want to grow the program in new and exciting ways,” president of Cell Phones for Soldiers, Bob Bergquist said. “Not only do we want to provide a means for our deployed heroes to call home, but we want to supply that precious connection more regularly so troops can call home as much as possible.”
Instructions on how to support Cell Phones for Soldiers and its mission to provide 750,000 FREE communication tools in 2011 can be found at http://www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com. Supporters also can track the charity’s success throughout the year at http://www.facebook.com/JoinCellPhonesforSoldiers.
ABOUT CELL PHONES FOR SOLDIERS INC.
Cell Phones for Soldiers Inc. (CPFS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing deployed and returning troops cost-free methods to communicate with family while serving in the United States military. Based in Norwell, Mass., CPFS was founded in 2004 by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, then 12 and 13 years old. From the recycling of used mobile phones and cash donations, the organization has raised more than $7 million, collected more than 7.5 million cell phones and provided troops overseas with more than 90 million minutes of free talk time. For more information http://www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com. Find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JoinCellPhonesforSoldiers.