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Wilson Lions Club partners with Cell Phones for Soldiers to provide troops with free calls home

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Mon, Jan 18th 2016 12:00 pm

The Wilson Lions Club and nonprofitCell Phones For Soldiers are asking area residents to help troops call home by donating gently used cellular phones.

Although the military landscape is ever changing, as many as 200,000 troops are serving in the United States military overseas around the world. By donating to Cell Phones For Soldiers, residents can provide a lifeline for America's bravest.

Residents can now donate their phones and/or tablets at Wilson Lions locations, including:

•Wilson Town Hall, 375 Lake St.

•Wilson Community Library, 265 Young St.

Cell Phones For Soldiers was founded in 2004 by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist at the ages of 12 and 13. The charity has since provided more than 216 million minutes of free talk time to servicemen and women stationed around the world through its calling card program, Minutes That Matter. Funds raised from the recycling of cellular phones are used to purchase prepaid international calling cards.

On average, Cell Phones For Soldiers distributes 1,500 calling cards each week to bases around the world, care package programs, deployment ceremonies and VA hospitals.

"Each year, we have been humbled by the amount of people and organizations like the Wilson Lions Club that take the initiative to support our military members," Robbie Bergquist said. "The communication gap between those serving and their families is a crucial need that Cell Phones For Soldiers is committed to addressing for years to come."

For every donated phone valued at $5, Cell Phones For Soldiers is able to provide two and a half hours of free talk time to deployed troops.

Since 2004, more than 11.7 million phones have been recycled or repurposed. Approximately half of the phones processed are reconditioned and reused.

Phones and components that cannot be refurbished are dismantled and responsibly recycled to reclaim materials, including:

  • Gold, silver and platinum from circuit boards
  • Copper wiring from phone chargers
  • Nickel, iron, cadmium and lead from battery packs

For more information, visit www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com.

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