MBTA commuters can now contribute to the community’s environmental sustainability and at the same time provide the U.S. military service men and women the ability to connect with loved ones by simply dropping their old cell phones into collection boxes at the MBTA. On February 21, 2014, the MBTA installed two drop boxes at North Station’s Commuter Rail concourse, these receptacles will collect cell phones for the non-profit organization Cell Phones for Soldiers. The charity was founded in 2004 by the Norwell, Mass., brother and sister team of Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, who were only 12 and 13 at the time. The MBTA started internally collecting cell phones for the charity in 2012, and has since racked up over 4,000 phones and provided 45,000 minutes
of talk time for soldiers overseas. The drop boxes will be at North Station’s Commuter Rail concourse for two months, and then will be rotated at two-month intervals to South Station, Back Bay Station, then back to North Station. The cell phones will go to a company that refurbishes them, then sends money to provide pre-paid calling cards with phone minutes for soldiers overseas. Since 2004 the charity has collected millions of phones which otherwise would have ended up in landfills and have provided over 200 million minutes of talk time to service members overseas.
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