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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 08:11 AM
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Military-themed phone charity makes bold goal
Military-themed phone charity makes bold goal
By Rick Hampson - USA Today
Posted : Tuesday Nov 27, 2007 8:03:28 EST

NORWELL, Mass. At the holidays, for a service member at war, theres nothing like a phone call home. Brittany and Robbie Bergquist have provided more than $1.4 million worth of them 24 million precious minutes.

The Bergquists are teenage siblings who didnt even own a cell phone in 2004, when they heard that an Army reservist faced a $7,600 bill for making calls home from Iraq.

They founded Cell Phones for Soldiers based on three ideas: Most people have an old, inactive cell phone lying around; theyd probably donate it to the right cause; and theyd probably agree that, as Brittany puts it, Everyone has a right to call home.

In three years, an effort that began with a piggybank raid and a car wash has turned into a booming home front charity one that has turned its founders lives upside down and won them devoted friends throughout the military and beyond.

Cell Phones for Soldiers solicits unwanted cell phones, sells them to a recycler for about $5 each and uses the money to buy pre-paid phone cards that are shipped to the war zone.

We take for granted our ability to call home and speak to our families, said Brittany, 16. The troops dont do that. They appreciate what were doing. Thats what sparks us to do more.

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