AAA Self Storage of Woodland, Calif., is participating in Cell Phones for Soldiers, a cell-phone recycling program that provides overseas troops with prepaid calling cards. Donated phones are sent to ReCellular, which pays enough for each phone to allow a soldier abroad one hour of talk time. Phones can be donated at AAA between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Cell Phones for Soldiers is aiming to turn old cell phones into more than 12 million minutes of prepaid calling cards for U.S. troops. The organization expects to collect 50,000 cell phones each month through a network of more than 3,000 collection sites nationwide.
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 $2 million in donations and distributed more than 500,000 prepaid calling cards to soldiers overseas.
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 with prepaid service to allow soldiers abroad to see their families on a regular basis.