Help a Hero for Veterans Day: HCSO Partners with Cell Phone for Soldiers

Other News Posted by: Highlands County Sheriff’s Office on Oct 27, 2023 9:18AM

Get a free HCSO tote bag when you drop off a device!

SEBRING -- The Highlands County Sheriff’s Office invites the community to participate in its Veterans Day cell phone drive from now until November 11, 2023. With the recent launches of new phones, and holiday shopping, many consumers have old phones that are no longer being used that could be recycled and refurbished to provide crucial lifelines to someone in need. Devices donated throughout the drive will be donated to Cell Phones for Soldiers.


Cell Phones for Soldiers, a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing cost-free communication services and emergency funding to veterans, active-duty military members, and their families, is encouraging consumers to donate their unused, old mobile phones to help those who serve.


Community members can donate all types of cell phones, smartphones, and tablets, including broken and outdated devices, as well as newer, gently used mobile devices. Chargers are welcomed along with phones or tablets. Phones do not have to be factory reset prior to donation, but erasing all content is recommended.


The HCSO welcomes donations at its main office at 400 S. Eucalyptus St. in Sebring from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Just look for the red and white box in the lobby and drop your device inside. 


“A lot of people probably have old cell phones sitting in a drawer in their homes, so why not donate them to a good cause like Cell Phones for Soldiers?” Sheriff Paul Blackman said. “We will give anyone who donates a phone at our office a free Sheriff’s Office tote bag.”


"Millions of devices end up in landfills every year, why not recycle and reuse those devices, and instead use them to do good and help someone in need?" asked Rob Bergquist, co-founder and president of Cell Phones for Soldiers. "Cell Phones for Soldiers encourages consumers to think consciously about the disposition of their devices when cleaning out their junk drawers or upgrading their phones and instead donate them. It would not only help the environment, but help connect our Veteran community to essential resources."


According to the U.S. Department of Labor, every year, approximately 200,000 men and women transition from military service to civilians. Many veterans are unable to afford phones and connectivity to be a part of today's digital world and look to veteran service organizations and nonprofits like Cell Phones for Soldiers for help.


Veterans who have digital access can stay connected and access essential services and support, such as healthcare, veteran services, as well as find jobs and other resources to help them get back on their feet. On the contrary, those who don't have access to available resources, benefits and services may encounter more complex behavioral health concerns. In 2020, approximately 5.2 million veterans experienced a behavioral health condition, according to a 2018 study.


Cell Phones For Soldiers is a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing cost-free communication services and emergency funding to active-duty military members and veterans. For nearly 20 years, the charity has provided more than 450 million minutes of talk time to servicemen and women deployed around the world, by recycling more than 27 million cell phones reducing the impact on landfills.

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