The Escalon Fire Department is pleased to participate in the "Cell Phones For Soldiers" program. Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded in 2004, when Brittany Bergquist, then 13, and her brother, Robbie, 12, heard a news story about an Army Reserve sergeant stationed in Iraq who had racked up a $7,624 cell phone bill calling home to his family in the states.
The teenagers pooled their money to raise their first $21. The pair went on to collect change from their friends and hold a car wash that raised almost $1,000. When they went to a local bank to start an account for the collection drive, the bank chipped in another $500.
The local media reported on what the Bergquist family was doing, and the coverage led to a massive surge in contributions. That, in turn, put Brittany and Robbie in the national news and won them support from across the country. That inspired the Bergquist family to launch “Cell Phones for Soldiers” as formal 501(c)3 charitable organization – with the goal of helping every service member call home for free.
The organization took a novel approach to fundraising, collecting old cell phones most of us keep in our junk drawers because we don’t know what else to do with them. The Bergquists have teamed up with ReCellular, Inc. to process their phones and are paid for every phone they collect, with the average phone worth enough to provide a 60 minute calling card for international use. ReCellular is the worlds largest mobile device recycler, processing over 2 million phones for Cell Phones for Soldiers in 2008 alone.
You can help by donating your old cell phones at our main station at 1749 Coley Ave. in Escalon. Thank you for supporting our troops.