ANCHORAGE, Nov. 3, 2014 – From now through November 30, Wells Fargo and nonprofit Cell Phones For Soldiers Inc. are asking Alaskans to help commemorate Veterans’ Day by donating gently-used cellular phones at any of Wells Fargo’s 49 banking stores in Alaska, and during Alaska Aces hockey games at the Sullivan Arena November 14-15. By donating to Cell Phones For Soldiers, Alaskans can provide troops with that precious connection to loved ones back home.
“Each year we have been humbled by the generosity of Wells Fargo and its passionate employees and customers,” said Cell Phones For Soldiers co-founder Robbie Bergquist. “We couldn’t assist the number of troops and veterans that we do without the great support of Wells Fargo.”
Last November, Wells Fargo customers and team members in Alaska donated 589 cell phones that were recycled with proceeds used to purchase 600 prepaid international calling cards for Alaska troops. The effort is led by Wells Fargo’s Alaska Veterans Team Member Network. Since 2008, the volunteer group has collected more than 14,000 cell phones in similar drives across the country.
Donated devices are sent to Mindful eCycling for recycling. For every donated phone valued at $5, Cell Phones For Soldiers is able to provide two and a half hours of free talk time to military members.
Approximately half of the phones Mindful eCycling processes are reconditioned and reused. Phones and components that cannot be refurbished are dismantled and responsibly 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
Cell Phones For Soldiers was founded in 2004 by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist at the ages of 12 and 13. The charity has since provided 210 million minutes of free talk time to servicemen and women stationed around the world. Funds raised from the recycling of cellular phones are used to purchase prepaid international calling cards. On average, Cell Phones For Soldiers distributes 3,200 calling cards each week to bases around the world, care package programs, deployment ceremonies and VA hospitals.
Wells Fargo continues to help get veterans back to work by providing mentoring and networking opportunities, offering interview and resume preparation, and hiring veterans through the Heros2Hired Program. Additionally, Wells Fargo plans to increase the financial education training it provides through its Hands on Banking program and through nonprofit organizations.
Today, Wells Fargo supports military members and veterans through customized initiatives to recruit and retain team members, through Wells Fargo Foundation donations, countless volunteer hours and event sponsorships. Wells Fargo’s Worldwide Military Banking program has satisfied the financial needs of our nation’s service members for more than a half century, coast to coast. Additionally, Wells Fargo Small Business Administration Lending offers Small Business Administration (SBA) loans that help veterans, members of the military community, and their spouses or widows establish or expand their small businesses.
ABOUT CELL PHONES FOR SOLDIERS INC.
Cell Phones For Soldiers Inc. is a national nonprofit dedicated to providing cost-free communication services to active-duty military members and veterans. Founded in 2004 by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, then 12 and 13 years old, Cell Phones For Soldiers has provided more than 210 million “Minutes That Matter” to servicemen and women. Since 2012, “Helping Heroes Home” has provided emergency funds for more than 2,500 veterans to alleviate communication challenges as well as physical, emotional and assimilation hardships. For more information, visit www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest pages.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo has 850 team members in Alaska who serve customers through a network of 54 banking, mortgage, and investment offices, and 115 ATMs.
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.6 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,700 locations, 12,500 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2014 rankings of America’s largest corporations.
In 2013, the Company invested $275.5 million in grants to 18,500 nonprofits, and team members contributed more than 1.69 million volunteer hours around the country. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.