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Wells Fargo celebrates Veterans Day with Cell Phones for Soldiers drive

ANCHORAGE, Nov. 1, 2012 – From now through November 30, Wells Fargo and non-profit 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.  By donating to Cell Phones for Soldiers, Alaskans can provide troops with that precious connection to loved ones back home.

Wells Fargo is celebrating Veterans Day with in-store military appreciation events and a business clothing drive for Airmen’s Attic to provide dress clothes for servicemembers to attend formal events.  Wells Fargo is also sponsoring the University of Alaska Museum of the North’s annual military appreciation banquet in Fairbanks on November 9.

“Each year we have been humbled by the amount of people and organizations like Wells Fargo that take the initiative to support our troops,” said Cell Phones for Soldiers co-founder Brittany Bergquist. “We want to continue to mend the communication gap between our armed forces and their loved ones as troops continue to serve our county.”

Donated phones are sent to Michigan-based ReCellular 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 deployed troops.

Approximately half of the phones ReCellular 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 by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist at the ages of 12 and 13. The charity has since provided more than 168 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 12,000 calling cards each week to bases around the world, care package programs, deployment ceremonies and VA hospitals.

For more information, please visit www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com.

Wells Fargo Military Affairs Program

Wells Fargo has created a Military Affairs Program to elevate its efforts in serving active duty military and veterans, and outlined three top initiatives. Wells Fargo plans to place added focus on getting active duty military and veterans into homes, helping veterans get back to work, and providing financial education training.

“It’s an honor to serve those who have selflessly put their lives on the line for our freedom,” said Jon Campbell, head of Wells Fargo Community and Government Relations. “We created the Military Affairs Program to expand our outreach to members of the military, veterans and their families who may be facing financial hardships – it is part of our commitment to helping communities succeed by being a part of the solution.”

As the #1 originator of VA loans, Wells Fargo will continue to help provide safe, sustainable housing to veterans and active duty military through quality mortgages, financial assistance and donations via non-profit organizations. Wells Fargo is continuing to 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 non-profit 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.


Cell Phones for Soldiers Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing cost-free communication services to active duty military members and veterans. Based in Norwell, Mass., Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded in 2004 by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, then 12 and 13 years old. The organization has provided more than 168 million minutes of free talk time to deployed military members. Beginning in 2012, “Helping Heroes Home” will provide emergency funds for returning veterans to alleviate communication challenges as well as physical, emotional and assimilation hardships. For more information, visit www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com, www.helpingheroeshome.org or http://www.facebook.com/JoinCellPhonesforSoldiers.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.4 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 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in more than 35 countries to support the bank’s customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States.  Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2012 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.  


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