New York State Senator George Amedore and AT&T proudly announced on Friday, that with the help of the community, approximately 1445 gently-used mobile devices have been collected over the past month and are being donated to Cell Phones for Soldiers.
As a result of this tremendous community effort, approximately 216,750 minutes of free calls will be provided to men and women serving in our military. Proceeds from the recycled devices will be used to buy long distance calling cards for troops abroad and veterans at home so they can call their loved ones.
The collection drive began December 5 and lasted until January 5 and spanned Senator Amedore’s district. The public was able to drop off any used mobile devices at 21 collection bins and AT&T stores throughout the senator’s district.
“I want to thank AT&T for another tremendously successful partnership on behalf of Cell Phones for Soldiers, as well as all or our community partners who volunteered to serve as drop-off locations all throughout the district,” said Senator Amedore. “Most importantly, I want to thank each and every person who took time out of their schedule over this past month to donate their old devices – it is a small gesture that truly makes a huge difference for our military men and women.”
“I want to thank Senator Amedore for spearheading another wonderful community Cell Phones for Soldiers drive with AT&T,” said Amy Kramer, AT&T New York President. “I am very appreciative of everyone that donated an old mobile device and am always astonished by the generosity of this community and their commitment to helping America’s bravest men and women and their families stay connected and making their deployment easier. We connect the world at AT&T, but nothing brings us more pride and joy than being able to connect our active military and veterans with their loved ones.”
Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded in 2004 by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist at the ages of 12 and 13. The charity has since provided more than 300 million minutes of free talk time to servicemen and women stationed around the world through its calling card program, Minutes That Matter. Funds raised from the recycling of cellular phones are used to purchase prepaid international calling cards. On average, Cell Phones For Soldiers distributes 1,500 calling cards each week to bases around the world, care package programs, deployment ceremonies and VA hospitals. Since 2004, Cell Phones For Soldiers has provided U.S. troops with more than 300 million “Minutes That Matter” and distributed more than 5 million prepaid international calling cards and have recycled more than 15 million mobile devices, reducing the impact on landfills. Approximately half of the phones processed are reconditioned and reused, while those that can’t be are dismantled to reclaim materials, and the funds raised from this process are used to purchase calling cards.
For every donated phone valued at $5, Cell Phones for Soldiers is able to provide 2 ½ 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 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.
“Cell Phones for Soldiers would like to express our sincere appreciation of Senator Amedore, AT&T and the entire community for once again taking on our mission to connect military members serving around the world with their loved ones back home,” said Cell Phones for Soldiers co-founder Robbie Bergquist.
For more information on Cell Phones for Soldiers, please visit www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com.
The following locations served as drop-off locations for the month-long drive:
Montgomery County DMV, 64 Broadway, Fonda
Canajoharie Public Library, 2 Erie Blvd, Canajoharie
Amsterdam Free Library, 28 Church Street, Amsterdam
AT&T Store, 116 Sanford Farms Shopping Center, Amsterdam
Duanesburg Town Hall, 5853 Western Turnpike, Duanesburg
Princetown Town Hall, 165 Princetown Plaza, Princetown
Rotterdam Public Library, 1100 North Westcott Road, Rotterdam
AT&T Store, 404 Balltown Road, Schenectady
Guilderland Public Library, 2228 Western Avenue, Guilderland
Altamont Free Library, 179 Main St, Altamont
Ravena Public Library, 95 Main Street, Ravena
AT&T Store, Crossgates Mall
New Baltimore Town Hall, 3809 County Route 51, Hannacroix
Greene County Veterans Services, 159 Jefferson Heights, Catskill
Cairo Public Library, 512 Main Street, Cairo
Windham Public Library, 5379 Route 23, Windham
AT&T Store, 90 Catskill Commons, Catskill
Saugerties Town Hall, 4 High Street, Saugerties
Lloyd Town Hall, 12 Church Street, Highland
Town of Ulster Town Hall, One Town Hall Drive, Lake Katrine
AT&T Store, 1137 Ulster Ave, Kingston
For more than a century, AT&T has been proudly supporting veterans, active military personnel and their families through numerous company initiatives. The company seeks to support military members and veterans at home as well as abroad. Multiple company initiatives focus on helping military members transition to the civilian workforce. AT&T is committed to hiring 20,000 veterans by the end of 2020, with more than 1,600 already hired across the country since 2013.
Over the past five years, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation contributed or directed more than $21 million to organizations and projects that support military, veterans and their families through corporate, social investment and AT&T Foundation giving programs. As part of the company’s Thank Our Heroes campaign, AT&T has teamed up with 16 organizations across the U.S. to recognize our nation’s heroes and serve active duty military personnel, veterans and their families. This was part of a $500,000 total contribution. In addition to making a monetary contribution, last year alone, AT&T has contributed over 40,000 volunteer hours to hundreds of veteran-focused events and programs. Since 2007, AT&T and its customers have donated more than $64.5 million and distributed more than 600,000 pre-paid calling cards to servicemen and women.