neighborhood narratives shine a light on locals who inspire
our feb. 19th edition focuses on our giving back pillar
FEATURING the bergquist siblings from norwell
and their cellphones for soldiers initiative
- In 2004, brother and sister team Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, wanted to give back to a local soldier by helping to pay for his cell phone bill. “We saw on the news that a deployed Massachusetts soldier had an $8,000 phone bill, and we were devastated that soldiers serving our country couldn’t afford to talk to their loved ones,” Brittany said. (Boston Globe)
- The Bergquists, who were students at Norwell Middle School, rallied their neighbors and friends to raise money and awareness through car washes and bake sales. Ultimately, the phone company waived the bill but Robbie and Brittany’s energy never wavered: “We learned the issue was widespread, so we expanded our efforts, and with our parents’ help, we created the [nonprofit] called Cell Phones for Soldiers (CPFS),” Robbie said. (Boston Globe)
- Last year, CPFS, which Robbie now runs out of Atlanta, GA, celebrated its 15 year anniversary, with some pretty impressive stats: providing 300 million minutes of free talk time to deployed service members and mailing an average of 1,500 free calling cards each week. (cellphonesforsoldiers.com)
- Robbie and Brittany’s parents were undoubtedly proud of their mindful teenagers, yet despite being honored alongside big names like Mark Zuckerberg in 2017 for Forbes Magazine's "30 Under 30 List," Gail and Robert Bergquist made sure that their kids continued with important routines: “One minute we’d be on ‘Good Morning America’ and the next minute our parents would tell us to take out the trash,” said Brittany, who now lives in Plymouth. “Both parents were teachers and made a point to keep us grounded.” (Boston Globe)
- Kudos to the entire Bergquist family for their All-American effort!
- For more information on Cell Phones for Soldiers click here.