The Ninth District of School Social Workers Association of Georgia announced this year’s community awareness initiative will be to collect unused cell phones, as well as financial donations, on behalf of a Massachusetts-based non-profit organization, Cell Phones for Soldiers.
Cell Phones for Soldiers collects cell phones, then recycles and sells them to ReCellular, a company agreeing to buy donated phones from the organization.
That money is used to purchase prepaid calling cards for soldiers overseas so they can contact their families more often and free of charge.
ReCellular pays enough for each phone to provide a soldier with one hour phone-time.
“It can cost a soldier $8 or $9 per minute to call home,” said Dania Peguero, vice president of the Ninth District of School Social Workers Association. Peguero suggested this project for the Ninth District to take part in.
“This program allows soldiers to be connected to their families. It doesn’t get much better than that,” she added.
“We’re proud to show our support for U.S. soldiers, and to contribute to a worthy cause like Cell Phones for Soldiers,” said Jarod Anderson, president of the Ninth District of School Social Workers Association.
The Ninth District Community Awareness Initiative is open to all 23 counties within the district, including Dawson, Forsyth, Lumpkin and Hall counties.
Dawsonville donations will be collected by Jennifer Rager, social worker for the Dawson County School System.
Donations can also be brought directly to Hall County Student Services, located at 4851 Union Church Road in Flowery Branch until Oct. 23.
Cell Phones for Soldiers was started by two Massachusetts teenagers, Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, who invested $21 of their own money into the project.
That investment has now turned into a national, non-profit organization that has raised almost $1 million in donations and distributed more than 500,000 prepaid calling cards to soldiers serving overseas.
“Over the past few years, we have been amazed by the generosity of others. But, we have also seen the need to support our troops continue,” said Brittany Bergquist.
Cell Phones for Soldiers aims to raise more than $9 million in the next five years to fund new programs, such as providing video phones and prepaid service to allow soldiers abroad to see their families on a regular basis.
For more information about making donations, contact Jennifer Rager at (706) 216-5801 or Dania Peguero at (770) 967-5846, Ext. 221.
For more information on Cell Phones For Soldiers, visit: www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com.