/PRNewswire/ -- Pak Mail centers around the country collected more than 17,700 unused cell phones that have been donated to Cell Phones for Soldiers, an organization that recycles the phones and uses the proceeds to buy prepaid calling cards that are sent to soldiers. The recycled cell phones collected by Pak Mail resulted in 1,070,000 minutes of talk time connecting soldiers with their families.
"Our armed forces count on the support of Americans to connect with their loved ones while serving abroad," said Brittany Bergquist, co-founder of Cell Phones for Soldiers. "The fantastic work of partners like Pak Mail Centers of America, Inc. is what makes this charity possible. We thank them for all they have done to help our service members."
Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist from Norwell, Mass., with $21 of their own money. Since then the 501(c)3 non-profit organization has raised almost $2 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, such as providing video phones and prepaid service to allow soldiers abroad to see their families on a regular basis.
The phones are sent to ReCellular, which pays Cell Phones for Soldiers for each donated phone - enough to provide an hour of talk time to soldiers abroad. Approximately half of the phones ReCellular processes are reconditioned and resold to wholesale companies in over 40 countries around the world.
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