Romans Motor Company in Independence announced its partnership with nonprofit organization Cell Phones for Soldiers, and they're asking local communities to assist troops call home by donating gently-used cellular phones.

Although the military landscape is ever changing, as many as 200,000 troops are serving in the United States military overseas around the world. By donating to Cell Phones For Soldiers, area residents can provide a lifeline for America's bravest, said Beth Chaney with Romans Motor Company.

Residents can donate their phones and/or tablets at Romans Motor Company located at 2313 W. Main in Independence. 

With the approaching holiday season, this campaign is geared up to anyone who may experience an upgrade with their current phones or tablets. Instead of putting them away in drawers, the staff at Romans Motor Company encourage everyone to donate.

Cell Phones For Soldiers was founded in 2004 by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergguist at the ages of 12 and 13. The charity since provided more than 216 million minutes of free talk time to servicemen and women stationed around the world through it's calling card program, Minutes That Matter.

Funds raised from the recycling of cell phones are used to purchase prepaid international calling cards. On average, Cell Phones For Soldiers distributes 1,500 calling cards each week to bases around the world, care package programs, deployment ceremonies and VA hospitals.

"Each year, we have been humbled by the amount of people and organizations like Romans that take the initiative to support our military members," said co-founder Robbie Bergguist. "The communication gap between those serving and their families is a crucial need that Cell Phones For Soldiers is committed to addressing for years to come."

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.

Since 2004, more than 11.7 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 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. 

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