Athens Review, Athens, Texas

March 2, 2013

Dial ‘H’ for help

‘Cell Phones for Soldiers’ calls for funds

Special to the Review
The Athens Review

Athens —

American Legion Post 310 and non-profit Cell Phones for Soldiers Inc. are asking Mabank and Gun Barrel residents, as well as those across Henderson County, to help troops call home by donating gently-used cellular phones.

Although the military landscape is ever changing, as many as 290,000 troops are serving in the U.S. military overseas around the world. By donating to Cell Phones for Soldiers, Mabank and Gun Barrel residents can provide troops with that precious connection to loved ones back home.

Beginning today, residents can donate their phones at American Legion Post 310 locations, including 113 Lee Way in Gun Barrel City.

Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded in 2004 by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist at the ages of 12 and 13. The charity has since provided 181 million minutes of free talk time to servicemen and women stationed around the world.

Funds raised from the recycling of cellular phones are used to purchase prepaid international calling cards. On average, Cell Phones for Soldiers distributes 12,000 calling cards each week to bases around the world, care package programs, deployment ceremonies and VA hospitals.

“Each year we have been humbled by the amount of people and organizations like American Legion Post 310 that take the initiative to support our troops,” said co-founder Brittany Bergquist.

Donated phones are sent to Michigan-based ReCellular for recycling. For every donated phone valued at $5, Cell Phones for Soldiers is able to provide two and a half hours of free talk time to deployed troops.

Phones and components that cannot be refurbished are dismantled and responsibly 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; and

• Plastic from phone cases and accessories

For more information, please visit  www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com.