Kanabec County Veterans Services and nonprofit Cell Phones For Soldiers are asking county 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.

Beginning today, residents can donate their phones and/or tablets at Kanabec County Veterans Services, 18 N Vine St, Mora, MN 55051.

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 300 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 Kanabec County Veterans Services that take the initiative to support our military members,” said co-founder Robbie Bergquist. “The communication gap between military members actively 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 15 million phones have been recycled or repurposed.

We accept donations of any and all types of cell phones, smartphones and tablets from any carrier. Newer, gently-used mobile devices, including smartphones, are preferred; however, proceeds are generated from the recycling of broken and outdated mobile phones. Chargers and accessories are welcome but are not necessary to donate. If you have a charger you would like to donate, please keep the original phone and charger together. Please do not send instruction manuals. 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, please visit www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com.