Anytime Fitness kicks off cell phone collection driveMore than 150,000 troops are serving overseas and are away from their families. “Cell Phones for Soldiers” and Anytime Fitness-Woodbury (Tamarack Hills) are calling on all Americans to support for these men and women by donating unused cell phones.
By: Special to the Bulletin, Woodbury Bulletin
More than 150,000 troops are serving overseas and are away from their families.
“Cell Phones for Soldiers” and Anytime Fitness-Woodbury (Tamarack Hills) are calling on all Americans to support for these men and women by donating unused cell phones.
Cell Phones for Soldiers hopes to collect more 50,000 cell phones this year to help keep troops connected with their families.
“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.” said 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.”
Local residents can support the collection drive by donating their phones at Anytime Fitness-Woodbury, 755 Bielenberg Drive.
Drop off hours are Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m and Friday, 1 to 6 p.m. For more information, call (651) 714-0800.
“We’re proud to show our support for U.S. soldiers and to contribute to a worthy cause like Cell Phones for Soliders,” Laura Bade, Anytime Fitness-Woodbury club manager said.
Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist from Norwell, Mass., with $21 of their own money.
Since then, the nonprofit organization has raised almost $1 million in donations and distributed more than 500,000 prepaid calling cards to soldiers serving overseas.
“We are continuously overwhelmed by the enthusiastic support of thousands of Americans who have helped our troops speak with their loved ones,” said the teens’ father, Bob Bergquist. “However, the need for support keeps growing as more soldiers are sent to the Middle East or are asked to serve extended tours of duty.”
Through increased fundraising efforts, the Bergquist family hopes to raise more than $9 million in the next five years to fund new programs, such as providing video phones and prepaid service to allow soldiers abroad to see their families on a regular basis.
The donated phones are sent to ReCellular, which pays Cell Phones for Soldiers for each phone — enough to provide an hour of talk time to soldiers abroad.
Approximately half of the phones ReCellular processes are reconditioned and resold to wholesale companies in more than 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