Chief Mark D. Segalla is pleased to announce that the Reading Police Department is working with the town’s Veterans’ Services Office and Cell Phones For Soldiers to help men and women serving overseas connect with their loved ones.
Cell Phones For Soldiers is a national nonprofit dedicated to giving troops and veterans free communication services and emergency funding. Kevin Bohmiller, the town’s Veterans’ Services Coordinator, wanted to help the cause locally, and partnered with the Reading Police Department for assistance in collecting donations.
Working with Bohmiller, the Reading Police Department set up a collection box inside the station’s lobby, 15 Union St., where residents can drop off gently used smartphones and tablets to donate to soldiers. Bohmiller also established drop-off sites at Town Hall, 16 Lowell St., and at the Burbank YMCA, 36 Arthur B. Lord Drive.
For every donated phone valued at $5, Cell Phones For Soldiers is able to provide 2 1/2 hours of free talk time to deployed troops.
Since 2004, more than 15 million phones have been recycled or repurposed. Approximately half of the phones processed 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
“We’re honored that Kevin came to us with this extremely worthwhile cause and we’re happy to be working with our Veterans’ Services Office to help our troops abroad,” Chief Segalla said. “We encourage residents who have old devices at home to stop by the station and donate them.”
For more information, contact the Reading Police Department at 781-944-1212 or visit the Cell Phones For Soldiers website.
About Cell Phones For Soldiers:
Founded in 2004 by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, then 12 and 13 years old, Cell Phones For Soldiers has provided more than 300 million “Minutes That Matter” to servicemen and women. Since 2012, “Helping Heroes Home” has provided emergency funds for more than 3,100 veterans to alleviate communication challenges as well as physical, emotional and assimilation hardships.