University News

Cell Phones for Soldiers Collecting Unused Cell Phones

January 8, 2014

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MACOMB, IL - Cell Phones for Soldiers and Western Illinois University's Department of Military Science are collecting unused cellular telephones for the benefit of soldiers who are serving overseas.

Area residents can support the collection drive by donating their unused phones at Western Illinois University's Army ROTC Office, 103 Horrabin Hall; Minus Muffler, 121 N. Prairie St. in Macomb; New Image in Roseville and at the WIU-Quad Cities campus.

Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist from Norwell, MA, with $21 of their own money. Since then, the registered 501c3 non-profit organization has raised more than $2 million in donations and distributed more than 500,000 prepaid calling cards to soldiers serving overseas.

The phones are sent to ReCellular, which pays Cell Phones for Soldiers for each donated phone – enough to provide an hour of talk time to soldiers abroad.

Approximately half of the phones ReCellular processes are reconditioned and resold to wholesale companies in more than 40 countries around the world. Phones and components that cannot be refurbished are dismantled and 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
• Plastic from phone cases and accessories

For more information about Cell Phones for Soldiers, visit

For more information about donating locally, contact Lori Menke, WIU military science department, at (309) 298-1161 or email

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations