It’s amazing that we are so connected to family & friends all over the world in the digital age. They are only a Facebook update, text, or phone call away. But for our troops who serve overseas many do not have the option to call home easily. It can be beyond expensive, leading to major bills or a feeling of disconnection from your loved ones. The sacrifice our troops make is already so big it’s hard to imagine that they can’t pick up the phone to call their loved ones easily.
A nonprofit, Cell Phones for Soldiers, aims to make it easier for troops stationed overseas to call home with donations of calling cards. Their setup is simple. Through donation of old cell phones they run the organization and are able to help our servicemen and women call home.
How did Cell Phones for Soldiers get started?
It’s a pretty amazing story. From their press materials:
“The nonprofit was started eight years ago by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, a brother and sister team from Norwell, Mass. Robbie was just 12 and Brittany was 13. They were inspired by a story they saw on their local news about a soldier who was returning from deployment with an $8,000 phone bill! They knew at just 12 and 13 this wasn’t right and that is how Cell Phones for Soldiers was born!”
Doesn’t it amaze you that two young kids started this program? In 2011 alone they gave nearly 700,000 communication tool to families, and provided more than 41 million minutes of talk time.
Now here’s the part where you come in.
4 Easy Ways to Help:
- Donate your old Cell Phone: With 15,000 collection points across the US it’s easy.
- Watch a short video: After you login via Facebook and watch the video, AT&T will donate $2! Share the video and they’ll donate an additional $1.
- Donate: $5 buys 2 1/2 hours of talk time! No amount is too little.
- Setup a drop off point or drive : Learn more about how you can help here.
Additionally if you have a member of the military in your family you can apply for calling cards.
Helping Heroes Home
The nonprofit has also recently expanded with a new program, Helping Heroes Home, provides emergency funds for returning veterans. With many veterans becoming homeless, unemployed, or struggling to make ends meet; Brittany and Robbie saw a need to help.
Helping Heroes Home will help veterans receive home phone, cell phones and service, and internet access. They will also help with medication costs, vehicle repairs, and home bill payments.
You can find more information, eligibility requirements, and application forms at www.helpingheroeshome.org.
4 Ways you can Help Heroes Home
- Take Fifity Fone Challenge: Collect 50 cell phones.
- Donate: Every dollar helps.
- Become a Regional Volunteer: Head up programs in your local area to help.
- Sponsor the Program: Corporate sponsors are needed.
Would love to hear your thoughts on these initiatives.