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Cell Phones for Soldiers aims to keep military members in touch with family

It’s once again time to dig that old cell phone out of the kitchen junk drawer and donate it, so members of the United States military serving overseas can stay in contact with their families.

Posted: Nov. 13, 2018 12:42 PM

UTICA – It’s once again time to dig that old cell phone out of the kitchen junk drawer and donate it, so members of the United States military serving overseas can stay in contact with their families.

For the fourth year, Sen. Joe Griffo is organizing collection of gently used cell phones, which will be recycled & used to buy pre-paid long distance calling cards for active military serving overseas. Griffo’s office says for every $5 worth of phone donated, the program is able to provide 2.5 hours of free talk time to servicemen and women.

“The holidays are traditionally the most important time for active military to keep in touch with family, which makes this an ideal time to donate to this important charity,” said Griffo.

Last year approximately 1,700 phones were collected locally.

Military members at Tuesday’s news conference announcing the “Cell Phones for Soldiers” program say it really helps them stay connected to those they love when they're far from home.

“It's very easy for us as Americans to take for granted the fact that we can freely and easily communicate with each other, with our loved ones. It's much harder from overseas," said Army Staff Sgt. Ian Blunt.

You can bring those gently-used cell phones to the following locations:

• Jervis Public Library: 613 N. Washington St., Rome
• 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
• Herb Philipson’s: New Hartford Shopping Center, 1 Center St., New Hartford
• Herb Philipson’s: 1899 Black River Boulevard, Rome
• Lloyds of Lowville: 7405 S. State St., Lowville
• VFW Post 6912: 7744 West State St., Lowville
• Sergi’s Italian Restaurant: 10 Market St., Potsdam

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

The collection drive runs through December 13.

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