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Cell Phones for Soldiers drive nets over 1,000 donations

New York State Senate Deputy Minority Leader Joseph Griffo, R-Rome, speaks alongside Scott Zoeckler, left, with the Central New York Veterans Outreach Center, and Greeley Ford, right, with AT&T, during a news conference announcing the outcome of a month-long Cell Phones for Soldiers collection drive Monday, December 16, 2019. [PROVIDED PHOTO]
December 25, 2019

Approximately 1,086 gently-used mobile devices were collected over the past month as part of this year’s Cell Phones for Soldiers collection drive, State Senate Deputy Minority Leader Joseph Griffo announced Monday.

Griffo, AT&T and the Central New York Veterans Outreach Center kicked off this year’s drive in November. For each phone valued at $5, the program will provide 2 1/2 hours of free talk time to deployed soldiers via calling cards. Also, proceeds from the recycled devices will go to long-distance calling cards.

With the more than 1,000 phones donated this year, Griffo said soldiers home and abroad will be provided with approximately 162,900 minutes of free calls. The Cell Phones for Soldiers Drive has accrued approximately 4,900 devices and 733,800 minutes since starting five years ago.

“I am appreciative of the generosity of those who donated these phones and devices so that our troops can talk to their friends and loved ones this holiday season,” said Griffo, R-Rome. “I would like to thank AT&T, Cell Phones for Soldiers, the Central New York Veterans Outreach Center, the local businesses and organizations that graciously provided space for residents to drop off their devices and the caring and compassionate community who took part in this year’s collection drive. Through this collective effort, we showed the men and women in our military that we value their service and the sacrifices they make to protect us from harm.”


© 2019 Observer-Dispatch