Cell phones for soldiers

BERLIN — Northway Bank and non-profit Cell Phones for Soldiers Inc. are asking New Hampshire residents to help troops call home by donating gently-used cellular phones. Although the military landscape is ever changing, as many as 369,000 troops are serving in the U.S. military overseas around the world. By donating to Cell Phones for Soldiers, New Hampshire residents can provide troops with that precious connection to loved ones back home. During the month of August, residents can donate their phones at all 17 Northway Bank locations throughout the state. Visit northwaybank.com for a list of locations.
“We’re proud to support the troops from our community and all over the country as they serve overseas. Cell Phones for Soldiers is a great organization and wonderful concept. Each year we participate in this program, we are overwhelmed by the community’s response,” said Richard Sidor, Assistant Vice President at Northway Bank.
Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist at the ages of 12 and 13. The charity has since provided more than 150 million minutes of free talk time to servicemen and women stationed around the world. Funds raised from the recycling of cellular phones are used to purchase prepaid international calling cards. On average, Cell Phones for Soldiers distributes 12,000 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 Northway Bank that take the initiative to support our troops,” said co-founder Brittany Bergquist. “We also have watched the communication gap between our armed forces and their loved ones continue to grow as more troops are deployed.”
Donated phones are sent to Michigan-based ReCellular for recycling. For every donated phone valued at just $5, Cell Phones for Soldiers is able to provide two and a half hours of free talk time to deployed troops.
Approximately half of the phones ReCellular processes 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, and plastic from phone cases and accessories.
For more information, please visit www.northwaybank.com or www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com