/PRNewswire/ -- In response to a growing need to support military members returning from active duty, Cell Phones for Soldiers today announced an expansion of their services by offering free cell phones to all armed forces returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
To achieve this goal, the charity is calling on all Americans to donate their old phones to the cause. The free phones are drawn from those donated by individuals and corporations; to achieve this goal, an additional 1 million phones will need to be donated in 2010.
"With tens of thousands of our brave troops returning from active duty this year, the need to help them get back on their feet here at home has never been greater," said Brittany Bergquist, cofounder of Cell Phones for Soldiers. "We are thrilled to be able to provide this tremendous service to our brave men and women."
The Helping Heroes Home campaign relies on the donations of used phones. Qualifying phones are refurbished and given to requesting soldiers along with a month of calling time. Other donated phones will either be recycled or used to fund the charity's free calling-card program for troops overseas.
Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded in 2004 by brother and sister Robbie and Brittany Bergquist. To date, they have provided more than 60,000,000 minutes of free calling cards thanks to a national network of individual and corporate supporters donating phones and money.
"There are more than 130 million phones retired every year in the United States," said Robbie Bergquist, cofounder of Cell Phones for Soldiers. "If just 2% of all American's were to donate their phones, we could supply every troop with a phone as a small measure of the gratitude of a nation."
Sponsors for this initiative include the Consumer Electronics Association, One Source Inc. and ReCellular Inc.
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