Senator DeFrancisco Kicks Off His Annual Cell Phones for Soldiers Campaign

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. Major Martin Debock, executive officer for the Syracuse Army Recruiting Battalion, Master Sergeant Peter Palumb, and Mark Burns, public affairs specialist for the battalion,joined Senator DeFrancisco at a press conference to discuss the importance of helping our troops stay connected.

“I am proud to show my support for U.S. soldiers and to contribute to a worthy cause,” said Senator DeFrancisco. “Our military members are making a tremendous sacrifice for our country and for all of us. In return, we should be willing and eager to give back to them. This cell phone drive will help our military men and women stay in touch with their loved ones.”

“It is great to be a part of Senator DeFrancisco’s kickoff of the Holiday Cell Phone Collection Drive,” said Major Debock, who previously has been deployed. “We must never forget the sacrifices of our military ranks, and this program provides a special way to contribute and show our thanks.”

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

800 State Office Building

333 East Washington Street

Syracuse, New York 13202

(315) 428-7632

Other locations for drop off:

Great Northern Mall
Address: 4155 State Route 31, Clay, NY 13041
ShoppingTown Mall
Address: 3649 Erie Blvd. E., DeWitt, NY 13214
Solvay Library
Address: 615 Woods Road, Syracuse, NY 13209
Skaneateles Library
Address: 49 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles, NY 13057
Liverpool Library
Address: 310 Tulip St., Liverpool, NY 13088
Onondaga County Public Library (Galleries of Syracuse)
Address: 447 S. Salina St., Syracuse, NY 13202
Gordon Student Center at Onondaga Community College
Address: 4585 W. Seneca Turnpike , Syracuse, NY 13215
Fairmount Library
Address: 406 Chapel Drive, Syracuse, NY 13219
Syracuse University’s Army ROTC office
Address: Syracuse University, 308 Archbold, Syracuse, NY 13244

MATTYDALE Army Recruiting Station
372 Northern Lights Plaza
North Syracuse, NY 13212

SYRACUSE Army Recruiting Station
2949 Erie Blvd.
Syracuse, NY 13202 

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 soldiers abroad. About half of the phones ReCellular processes are reconditioned and resold to wholesale companies in 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. In 2004, with $21 of their own money. Since then, the registered 501c3 non-profit organization has raised more than $7 million in donations, recycled more than 8.3 million cell phones, and distributed more than 2 million prepaid calling cards to soldiers serving overseas, equating to 114 million minutes of free talk time.

Through increased fundraising efforts, the Bergquist family hopes to raise additional funds to support new programs, such as providing phones with prepaid service to allow soldiers abroad to talk to their families on a regular basis.