May 20, 2005
Thanks to Virginia State Police, employees and kind-hearted Virginia residents, at least 1,700 U. S. Soldiers overseas can call home with ease. The 'Cell Phones for Soldiers Program' was started by 13-year-old Brittany and 11-year-old Robbie Bergquist; just a couple of kids from Massachusetts that said they're trying to make a difference.
"They founded this organization after hearing a local news story of a man in Iraq who ran up a massive telephone bill and they wanted to do something that could help the families of soldiers overseas," said Trooper Nelson, a Virginia State Police.
They came up with the idea to collect used cell phones for a non-profit organization to recycle, using the money from the recycling to purchase pre-paid phone cards for soldiers abroad. The huge response has helped purchase over 1700 pre-paid calling cards which will give troops 170,000 minutes of free talk time.
"We have received an overwhelming big response for this non-profit organization. There was a donation, a large donation, of an individual in Richmond who donated 53 cell phones," said Trooper Nelson.
It only took two months to collect all of the cell phones and the troops hope there is more on the way. The Virginia State Police are continuing to collect discarded cell phones through August 3, 2005 at each of the seven division headquarters.