C&K Market, Inc. and non-profit Cell Phones for Soldiers are asking local residents to help troops call home by donating gently-used cellular phones. With ongoing deployments to combat areas and elsewhere, as many as 290,000 troops are serving in the U.S. military overseas. By donating gently-used cellular phones to Cell Phones for Soldiers to be recycled by Mindful eCycling, local residents can provide troops with that precious connection to loved ones back home.
Today through April 30th, residents can donate their phones to the cause at any of C&K Market Inc.’s family of stores, including Ray’s Food Place, Shop Smart, C&K Market, and Lo Buck$. This year’s benefactors of donations will be the Oregon National Guard and the 235th Engineer Company (Sapper), a National Guard unit located in Petaluma.
Last year, C&K Market Inc. collectively raised 1,033 cell phones, equating to 61,980 minutes of free talk time. This year, C&K Market has set a 1,500-phone goal. The company hopes that local communities will come out and support our deployed troops as well as the recycling of cell phones that may otherwise end up in landfills.
Siblings Robbie and Brittany Bergquist founded Cell Phones for Soldiers at the ages of 12 and 13. The charity has since provided more than 181 million minutes of free talk time to service men and women stationed around the world. Funds raised from the recycling of cellular phones are used to purchase pre-paid international calling cards. On average Cell Phones for Soldiers distributes 12,000 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 C&K Market that take the initiative to support our troops,” said co-founder Brittany Bergquist. “We have also watched the communication gap between our armed forces and their loved ones continue to grow as more troops are deployed for their third or fourth tour overseas.”
Mindful eCycling is dedicated to partnering with socially-conscious charities to build electronics donation and trade-in programs. The team seeks to drive value to the charity and its supporters while promoting societal and environmental sustainability.
Cell Phones for Soldiers Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing cost-free communication services to active duty military members and veterans.
Based in Norwell, Mass., Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded in 2004 by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, then 12 and 13 years old. The organization has provided 181 million minutes of free talk time to deployed military members. Beginning in 2012, “Helping Heroes Home” will provide emergency funds for returning veterans to alleviate communication challenges as well as physical, emotional and assimilation hardships.
C&K Market Inc. is a family-owned company based in Brookings. The company operates 64 grocery stores and 15 pharmacies under the banners of Ray’s Food Place, Shop Smart, C&K Market, Lo Buck$, Pharmacy Express, Chetco Pharmacy & Gifts and Tiffany’s Drugs.
In 2013, Supermarket News ranked the company 29th on their list of the top small chains and independents in the country. More information can be found at www.ckmarket.com.