If you have an old cell phone that you no longer use, you can now donate it to help U.S. service men and women at home and overseas.
State Sen. Joseph Griffo of Rome kicked off a month-long collection drive this morning at his office at the Utica State Office Building. The annual campaign is a partnership between AT&T and the non-profit agency Cell Phones For Soldiers.
For every donated phone valued at $5, Cell Phones For Soldiers provides 2.5 hours of free talk time to deployed troops by way of calling cards. All of the proceeds from the collected phones will be used to buy long-distance calling cards for troops both in the U.S. and abroad.
“We’re encouraging people to donate used or unwanted phones,” Griffo said. “We collected almost a thousand last year, 933 were collected. I’d like to go over that. 450 the first year … so the objective is let’s reach over 1,000.”
“When we go overseas we have to pay for our phone calls home because it's so long distance, and with all the extra expenses that we spend this is just huge,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Josh Jones. “Every little bit helps, especially now during the holidays.”
The collection will last through Wednesday, December 13. Community members and businesses can drop off gently used and unwanted cell phones or tablets at collection bins at local AT&T stores, as well as the following locations:
- Jervis Public Library: 613 N. Washington St., Rome
- Chanatry’s Hometown Market: 485 French Road, Utica
- Turning Stone Resort Casino: 5218 Patrick Road, Verona
- Herb Philipson’s: New Hartford Shopping Center, 1 Center St., New Hartford
- Herb Philipson’s: 1899 Black River Boulevard, Rome
- TOPS Friendly Markets: 7395 Lowville Heights Road, Lowville
- Utica State Office Building: 207 Genesee St., Utica
- 4777 Commercial Drive, New Hartford
- 1319 Erie Boulevard W, Rome
- 224 N Genesee St., Utica