Monday, May 23, 2011
Cell Phones for Soldiers and Gresham Ford Kickoff Cell Phone Collection Drive
Name: Annette Wetzel-Ramirez
CELL PHONES FOR SOLDIERS and Gresham Ford,
KICK OFF CELL PHONE COLLECTION DRIVE IN East County
Gresham Ford are calling on all Americans to support for these brave men and women by donating your unused cell phones. Cell Phones for Soldiers hopes to collect over 1 Million 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.” 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.”
Local residents can support the collection drive by donating their phones at Gresham Ford located at 1940 East Powell Blvd in Gresham.
“We’re proud to show our support for U.S. soldiers, and to contribute to a worthy cause like Cell Phones for Soldiers,” says Bess Wills, General Manager of Gresham Ford.
Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist from Norwell, Mass., with $21 of their own money. Since then, the registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization has raised millions of dollars in donations and distributed millions of 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,” 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.”
Through increased fundraising efforts, the Bergquist family hopes 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.
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