Griffo launches Cell Phones For Soldiers collection drive

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UTICA — In honor of Veterans Day and Military Family Appreciation Month, state Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-47, Rome; was joined by AT&T; Army National Guard SSG., Charles Haas; the Central New York Veterans Outreach Center and the Utica Comets on Tuesday to kick off this year’s Cell Phones For Soldiers collection drive.

The collection drive starts on Veterans Day - Thursday, Nov. 11 - and runs through Saturday, Dec. 11. The public and businesses can drop off gently used and unwanted cell phones and/or tablets at collection bins in AT&T stores throughout the region and at several public locations throughout the senator’s district. 

“For every donated phone, mobile device or tablet valued at $5, Cell Phones For Soldiers is able to provide 2.5 hours of free talk time to deployed troops via calling cards. All proceeds from the recycled devices will be used to buy long distance calling cards and other communication services for troops at home and abroad. As many as 200,000 troops are serving in the U.S. military around the world and by donating to Cell Phones For Soldiers, local residents and businesses can provide a valuable lifeline for America’s bravest men and women to connect with loved ones back home,” a release notes.

Area locations include: Jervis Public Library: 613 N. Washington St., Rome; Adirondack Bank Center, 400 Oriskany St. W., Utica; Central New York Veterans Outreach Center, 726 Washington St., Utica; Slocum Dickson Medical Group, 1729 Burrstone Road, New Hartford; Utica Public Library: 303 Genesee St., Utica; Chanatry’s Hometown Market: 485 French Road, Utica; Utica State Office Building: 207 Genesee St., Utica; Turning Stone Resort Casino: 5218 Patrick Road, Verona; New Hartford Public Library: 2 Library Lane, New Hartford; Lloyds of Lowville: 7405 S. State St., Lowville; and the Lowville Free Library, 5387 Dayan St., Lowville.

AT&T Stores include: 4777 Commercial Drive, New Hartford; 1319 Erie Boulevard W., Rome;  224 N. Genesee St., Utica; 220 Genesee St., Oneida. 

“The holidays can be a difficult time for our military because they are often so far away from their families,” Griffo said. “The simple sound of a loved one’s voice can go a long way to lift up their spirits.”

“These brave men and women have stepped up to serve our nation, and I am proud to be teaming up with AT&T, the Central New York Veterans Outreach Center, the Utica Comets and Cell Phones for Soldiers to help connect these troops to their families back home,” he added. 

This is the sixth year that the drive has taken place. Residents throughout Sen. Griffo’s district have donated approximately 4,891 devices and have provided troops with approximately 334,125 minutes. 

For more information on Cell Phones For Soldiers, visit: www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com.

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