SENATOR GEORGE AMEDORE AND AT&T PARTNER WITH CELL PHONES FOR SOLDIERS TO PROVIDE TROOPS WITH FREE CALLS HOME

November is Military Family Appreciation Month, and as we approach the holiday season, the community is encouraged to donate unwanted mobile devices to provide calling cards for our deployed troops to call home

In honor of Veterans Day and Military Family Appreciation Month, and with the holiday season upon us, Senator George Amedore and  AT&T today announced a month long partnership with the nonprofit Cell Phones For Soldiers and asked residents throughout the 46th Senate District to help troops call home by donating unwanted cellular phones and tablets.

Proceeds from the recycled devices are used to buy long distance calling cards for troops at home and abroad. By donating to Cell Phones For Soldiers, local residents and businesses can provide a lifeline for America’s bravest during the upcoming holiday season.

From now through December 6thth, area residents and businesses can donate their unwanted cell phones and/or tablets at the following locations:

Montgomery County:
> Senator Amedore’s District Office, 20 Park Street, Room 121, Fonda
> Canajoharie Public Library, 2 Erie Blvd, Canajoharie
> Amsterdam Free Library, 28 Church Street, Amsterdam
> AT&T Store, 114 Sanford Farms Shopping Center, Amsterdam

Schenectady County:
> 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

Albany County:
> Guilderland Public Library, 2228 Western Avenue, Guilderland
> Altamont Free Library, 179 Main St, Altamont
> Ravena Public Library, 95 Main Street, Ravena
> Albany County Sheriff’s Office, 58 Verda Avenue, Clarksville
> AT&T Store, Crossgates Mall

Greene County:
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

Ulster County:
Saugerties Town Hall, 4 High Street, Saugerties
> Senator Amedore’s District Office, 721 Broadway, Suite 100, Kingston
> Lloyd Town Hall, 12 Church Street, Highland
> Town of Ulster Library, 860 Ulster Ave, Kingston
> AT&T Store, 1137 Ulster Ave, Kingston

“Each year we have been humbled by the amount of people and organizations like AT&T and community leaders like Senator Amedore that take the initiative to support our military members and veterans,” said Cell Phones For Soldiers co-founder Robbie Bergquist. “The communication gap between military members actively serving and their families is a crucial need that Cell Phones For Soldiers is committed to addressing for years to come. As a charity, we rely on partnerships like these to continue our mission to connect our military members with their families while serving abroad.”

“Our military men and women sacrifice so much on our behalf, and this is one small way we can give back to those who wear our nation’s uniform and serve our nation,” said Senator George Amedore, who serves on the Senate Standing Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs. “The holiday time can be an especially difficult time for our armed forces, and I am honored to partner with AT&T and Cell Phones for Soldiers to sponsor this donation drive to help our heroes stay connected to family and loved ones back home. It’s a small gesture that makes a huge difference to our military men and women.”

“We are honored to collaborate with Senator Amedore and Cell Phones For Soldiers again this year to encourage the community to join us and donate their used cell phones and tablets to give back to those that have given so much for our country,” said Marissa Shorenstein, President, AT&T-East Region, “Helping to keep the brave men and women who protect and serve our country connected to their friends, family and loved ones, especially with the holiday season upon us, is just one way to honor and thank them for their courage and duty.”

For every donated device worth at least $5, Cell Phones For Soldiers is able to provide two and a half hours of free talk time to deployed troops via calling cards.

To prepare your mobile phone for donation, here are some tips on how to erase all personal information that may be stored on it to protect your privacy:

  • Remove your phone's SIM card.  Erase your address book, photos, messages and other stored information
  • Restore the device factory settings on your device
  • For instructions on how to do this, go to owner's manual or to the manufacturer’s web site.

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.  Recently, AT&T teamed up with the organization to connect even more service members to their families while deployed.

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