Storage Center at Southwood of Tallahassee, Fla., is supporting overseas service members through collaboration with Cell Phones for Soldiers, an organization that helps keep troops connected with their families. The group collects used cell phones and sends them to ReCellular, which pays enough for each phone to provide one hour of talk time to a soldier. This year, Cell Phones for Soldiers hopes to collect more than 50,000 phones.
The Storage Center is urging local residents to support the drive by donating their used cell phones at the facility. Drop-off hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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 501c3 non-profit organization has raised almost $1 million in donations and distributed more than 500,000 prepaid calling cards to soldiers serving overseas.
Through increased fundraising efforts, the Bergquist family hopes to raise more than $9 million in the next five years to fund new programs that will provide video phones and prepaid service so soldiers abroad to see their families on a regular basis.
Approximately half of the phones ReCellular processes are reconditioned and resold to wholesale companies in more than 40 countries. Phones and components that cannot be refurbished are dismantled and recycled to reclaim materials.
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