Cell Phones for Soldiers and Senator Defrancisco Kick Off Annual Cell Phone Collection Drive

John A. DeFrancisco

October 29, 2010

 Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C, Syracuse), an Air Force Veteran, is once again calling on Central New Yorkers to support our troops this holiday season by donating their used cell phones to Cell Phones for Soldiers. Syracuse Army Recruiting Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel Richard Robert Rouleau, Public Affairs Chief Pete Spadora, and Public Affairs Specialist Mark Burns joined Senator DeFrancisco at a press conference this morning to help support the cause and discuss the importance of helping our troops stay connected.

“I am proud to show my support for our soldiers and to contribute to a worthy cause,” said Senator DeFrancisco. “Our military members are making a tremendous sacrifice for all of us. In return, we need to show them we appreciate their service and sacrifice. This cell phone drive helps our military men and women keep in touch with their loved ones.”

“Last year, Central New Yorkers showed an overwhelming amount of support and delivered more than 1,500 phones through this program,” continued Senator DeFrancisco. “I am confident that our community will come through once again this year to support this wonderful program.”

“I am very pleased to once again take part in Senator DeFrancisco’s Cell Phone Collection Drive,” said Lt. Colonel Richard Rouleau, of the Syracuse Army Recruiting Battalion. “This program provides an easy way for our community to help the men and women who are serving overseas year-round, and I am happy to support Senator DeFrancisco’s efforts.”

Local residents can support the collection drive by delivering their used cell phones to Senator DeFrancisco’s Office:


800 State Office Building

333 East Washington Street

Syracuse, New York 13202

(315) 428-7632

Cell phones can also be brought to drop-off points at the Information Centers at both Shoppingtown Mall and Great Northern Mall, and at Solvay Public Library.

Donated phones will be sent to ReCellular, which pays Cell Phones for Soldiers for each phone – enough to provide an hour of talk time to a soldier abroad.

About half of the phones ReCellular processes are reconditioned and resold to wholesale companies in more than 40 countries around the world. Phones and components that cannot be refurbished are dismantled and recycled to reclaim materials, including gold, silver and platinum from circuit boards; copper wiring from phone chargers; nickel, iron, cadmium and lead from battery packs; and plastic from phone cases and accessories.

Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist from Norwell, Mass., with $21 of their own money. Since then, the registered 501c3 non-profit organization has raised almost $1 million in donations and distributed more than 500,000 prepaid calling cards to soldiers serving overseas.

Through increased fundraising efforts, the Bergquist family hopes to fund new programs, such as providing video phones and prepaid service to allow soldiers abroad to see their families on a regular basis.

To find out more about the program, please visit: