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Major John Allard, PIO Office, 785-2415, 24-Hour Press Box: 799-2001, Ext. 1100

Cell Phones for Soldiers

The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Corrections and Lake Murray ABATE on Friday, September 27 donated 300 cellular telephones and a check in the amount of $200 to Bob and Gail Berquist, who serve as the directors of Cell Phones for Soldiers.

Earlier this month, Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said the Sheriff’s Department in partnership with the Corrections Department and Lake Murray ABATE donated 7,753 used cellular telephones and 2,300 used chargers to Cell Phones for Soldiers. Cell Phones for Soldiers sells used cellular telephones and telephone accessories to a recycling company and utilizes the proceeds to buy pre-paid telephone calling cards that are issued to members of the United States armed forces who are serving our nation outside the United States.

Since 2010, the Sheriff’s Department in partnership with the Corrections Department and Lake Murray ABATE has donated more than 25,000 cellular telephones and accessories to Cell Phones for Soldiers, Metts said. As a result of the donation, Cell Phones for Soldiers provided more than 828,000 minutes of free telephone talk time to members of the United States armed forces who are deployed overseas. Telephone minutes from the sale of cellular telephones that the Sheriff’s Department donates are provided to members of the armed forces from the Midlands.

Bob and Gail Berquist on Friday presented certificates of appreciation to the Sheriff’s Department, state Department of Corrections and Sgt. David Amick, who coordinated the participation of the Sheriff’s Department in efforts to collect cellular telephones for donation to Cell Phones for Soldiers, Metts said.

“We are honored to be here. We rely upon people like you to promote our organization,” Bob Berquist said. “All of you are angels for the soldiers who are protecting us. The phone cards give the soldiers a little bit of heaven in the middle of war.”

The children of Bob and Gail Berquist, Brittany and Robbie, founded Cell Phones for Soldiers in 2004 after learning that a soldier had a cellular telephone bill for $8,000 for calls that the soldier made while deployed overseas, Gail Berquist said. Since 2004, Cell Phones for Soldiers has provided members of the armed forces with 192 million minutes of free talk time and recycled more than 11 million cellular telephones.


12/18/2014 - Deputies Arrest Two Men for Breaking Into Home  
12/17/2014 - Sheriff's Department Donates More Than 300 Winter Coats to Lexington Interfaith Community Services  
12/11/2014 - Sheriff Promotes Deputies  
12/11/2014 - Sheriff's Department Awarded Law Enforcement Accrediation for Sixth Time  
12/03/2014 - Sheriff's Department Employees Donate 2,100 Pounds of Food and 700 Toys  
12/02/2014 - Road Closures  
11/26/2014 - Coats for Kids  
11/25/2014 - Man Arrested in Stabbing Incident  
11/21/2014 - Deputy Honored by National Safety Council  
11/18/2014 - Two Persons Arrested in Fatal Shooting  
11/13/2014 - Investigators Arrest Two Additional Men in Fatal Shooting  
11/12/2014 - Sheriff Promotes Eight Deputies  
11/12/2014 - Detectives Arrest Man in Fatal Shooting  
11/11/2014 - Fatal Shooting  
11/06/2014 - UPS Foundation Donates $20,000 to Children's Shelter  
11/04/2014 - Corrections Officer of the Month  
10/31/2014 - Sheriff Promotes Eight Deputies  
10/24/2014 - Criminal Domestic Violence Video  
10/21/2014 - Deputies Arrest Man for Sexually Assaulting Two Females  
10/18/2014 - Detectives Arrest Woman for Threatening to Use Destructive Device  
10/06/2014 - White Knoll Business Coalition Open House  
09/29/2014 - Man Arrested for Robbing Two Convenience Stores and Trying to Rob One Discount Store  
09/25/2014 - Man Arrested in Fatal Shooting  
09/23/2014 - Man Charged with Burglary  
09/22/2014 - Shooting Incident  


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