Over 300 Veterans & Family Memorial Care Providers Become Official Drop Off Sites For Cell Phones For Soldiers

Mark E. Davis, president & CEO of ValMark Memorial Group, Inc. the parent company of Veterans & Family Memorial Care announced that over 300 of its exclusive Certified VFMC funeral home locations in 29 states and Guam have become official drop off sites for the non-profit organization Cell Phones For Soldiers.

Cell Phones for Soldiers hopes to turn old cell phones into more than 12 million minutes of prepaid calling cards for U.S. Troops overseas by the end of 2008. To do so Cell Phones for Soldiers expects to collect 50,000 cell phones each month through a network ! of over 3,000 collection sites across the country. The phones are sent to ReCellular, which pays Cell Phones for Soldiers for each donated phone – enough to provide an hour of talk time to soldiers abroad.

Americans will replace an estimated 130 million cell phones this year, "says Mike Newman, vice president of ReCellular, "with the majority of phones either discarded or stuffed in a drawer. Most people don't realize that the small sacrifice of donating their unwanted phones can have a tremendous benefit for a worthy cause like Cell Phones for Soldiers."

Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist from Norwell, MA., with $21.00 of their money. Since then, the registered 501c3 non-profit organization has raised almost $2 million in donations and distributed more than 500,000 prepaid calling cards to soldiers serving overseas.

"Cell Phones for Soldiers started out as a small way to show our family's appreciation for the men and women who have sacrificed the day-to-day contact with their own families to serve in the U.S. armed services, "says the teens' father Bob Bergquist. "Over the past few years we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of others, but, we have also seen the need to support our troops and continue to grow as more troops are sent overseas for longer assignments.

Through increased fundraising efforts, the Bergquist family hopes to raise more than $9 million in the next five years to fund new programs, such as providing video phones with prepaid service to allow soldiers abroad to see their families on a regular basis.

"We are so proud to support such a worthwhile organization" said Mark Davis. "Our network of family owned funeral home owners reach out to veterans and their families everyday. They have distinguished themselves to be The Veterans Choice and have earned the trust and respect of their communities. I am so privileged and honored to be associated with such a fine group of funeral professionals."

The Veterans & Family Memorial Care Brand has become a symbol of trust and respect underscored by the VFMC Provider pledge to demonstrate service and care beyond their client's expectations. Whether a firm cares for eighty families per year or eight hundred, whether they have one competitor or twenty, being an "Exclusive" Certified VFMC Provider is a mark of distinction, honor and goodwill.

Becoming an exclusive, Certified VFMC Provider is an inexpensive, cost-effective way to increase market share, stimulate community awareness, and gain a competitive edge. Funeral home owners that would like more information on branding their firm "The Veterans Choice" in their community should visit the Veterans & Family Memorial Care website at: www.VeteransFuneralHomes.com or call Toll Free (866) 770-6791.