Senator Defrancisco Kicks Off His Fifth Annual Cell Phones for Soldiers Collection Drive

John A. DeFrancisco

December 07, 2012

State Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C, Syracuse), a United States Air Force veteran, is once again calling on Central New Yorkers to donate their used cellular phones to his annual collection drive for Cell Phones for Soldiers. Today, (12/7/12) Syracuse Army Recruiting Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Darville and Public Affairs Specialist Jacqueline Wren of the Syracuse Army Recruiting Battalion, joined Senator DeFrancisco at a press conference in Syracuse to discuss the importance of helping our military families stay connected.

“I am always proud to support our brave men and women in uniform, who are making tremendous sacrifices to serve our country,” said Senator DeFrancisco.

Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist of Norwell, Massachusetts. This non-profit organization provides pre-paid calling cards to deployed military personnel, by selling donated cell phones to a Michigan-based recycling company. For every average recycled phone, Cell Phones for Soldiers is able to purchase two, 60-minute international calling cards for our troops.

“Thanks to the generosity of Central New Yorkers, we collected more than 900 used cell phones last year, which provided our soldiers with about 1,800 hours of free talk time,” continued Senator DeFrancisco. “Over the last five years, we have collected nearly 5,000 cellular phones. I know we can keep this momentum going!”

Lieutenant Colonel Darville added, “Cost-free communication tools are a phenomenal way to support deployed service members. Morale increases when soldiers are better able to stay in touch with their loved ones back home, especially during the holidays.”

Since its inception in 2004, Cell Phones for Soldiers has recycled more than 10 million cell phones and provided more than 160 million minutes of prepaid calling card time to soldiers stationed throughout the world. For more information on this program, please feel free to contact the district office of Senator DeFrancisco at (315) 428-7632.

You can support Senator DeFrancisco’s Cell Phones for Soldiers collection drive through mid January, by delivering you gently-used cell phones to his district office at:

800 State Office Building
333 East Washington Street
Syracuse, New York 13202

Other drop-off sites include:

Auburn Army Recruiting Station, 188 Genesee Street, Auburn

Baldwinsville Library, 33 East Genesee Street, Baldwinsville

Great Northern Mall, 4155 State Route 31, Clay

Fairmount Library, 406 Chapel Drive, Syracuse

Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard Street, Fayetteville

Fingerlakes Mall, 1579 Clark Street Road, Auburn

Le Moyne College, 1419 Salt Springs Road, Syracuse

Liverpool Library, 310 Tulip Street, Liverpool

Mattydale Army Recruiting Station, 372 Northern Lights Plaza, North Syracuse

Onondaga County Public Library, 447 S. Salina Street, Syracuse

ShoppingTown Mall, 3649 Erie Blvd. East, DeWitt

Seymour Library, 176 Genesee Street, Auburn

Skaneateles Library, 49 E. Genesee Street, Skaneateles

Solvay Library, 615 Woods Road, Syracuse

Student Central at Onondaga Community College, 4585 W. Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse

Syracuse Army Recruiting Station, 2949 Erie Blvd., Syracuse

Syracuse University’s Army ROTC Office, Syracuse University, 308 Archbold, Syracuse