Big Rapids DPS partners with Cell Phones For Soldiers

Big Rapids area community members can donate their phones and tablets to the Cell Phones For Soldiers program by dropping them off at the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety. (Courtesy photo/Getty Images)

BIG RAPIDS — Area residents can help members of the military stationed around the world stay in touch with their friends and families.

The Big Rapids Department of Public Safety recently partnered with Cell Phones For Soldiers, a nonprofit organization which provides free communication services to active duty military personnel and veterans.

Community members can donate their phones or tablets to the program by bringing them to the BRDPS, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Big Rapids.

Sergeant Ryan Myers said he thought the DPS would be a good drop-off location for the Cell Phone For Soldiers program because people can bring their devices in any time of the day or night and know they will be secure.

“It’s a good resource for the community and a good outreach program for our military personnel,” he said.

Myers said people can donate newer, gently-used cell phones for men and women in the military to use, or they can donate broken or outdated mobile phones, which will be recycled for parts.

The funds from the recycling of the phones then will be used to purchase prepaid international calling cards.

According to a press release, Cell Phones For Soldiers was founded in 2004 by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, then 12 and 13, and has since provided more than 300 million minutes of free talk time to members of the military stationed around the world.

“Each year we have been humbled by the amount of people and organizations who take the initiative to support our military members,” Robbie Bergquist said. “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.”

Myers said the Big Rapids area community has always been supportive of military personnel, and this program is another way to do so.

“This is a way the BRDPS thought we could get involved,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to help out.”

In addition to the BRDPS, people also can drop off cell phones or tablets for the Cell Phones For Soldiers program at Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home, 13985 Northland Drive; or at Holton’s LP Gas Co., 11125 Northland Drive.

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Posted by Taylor Fussman

Taylor is the cops and courts reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review newspapers. She can be reached at (231) 592-8362 or by email at tfussman@pioneergroup.com.

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