Electronics turned into talk time through Griffo's Cell Phone for Soldiers program

Dec. 5—LOWVILLE — For the last Christmas with state Sen. Joseph A. Griffo representing Lewis County, Lloyd's of Lowville restaurant, 7405 S. State St., is again collecting phone donations for his sixth annual Cell Phones for Soldiers campaign.

The donated cell phones are sold for recycling with the proceeds used to purchase pre-paid calling cards to be given to deployed soldiers around the world and to provide emergency funds for veterans and their families according to the Cell Phones for Soldiers website.

Locally, the senator's partners for the project include AT&T, the Central New York Veterans Outreach Center and the Cell Phones for Soldiers organization, which was founded in 2004 by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist when they were 12 and 13 years old.

Since then, the organization has reportedly donated more than 400 million minutes of talk time on 2,500 calling cards and supplied emergency funds for about 7,500 veterans by recycling 25 million donated cell phones and keeping them out of landfills.

Of those totals, about 500,000 minutes of talk time were generated through Sen. Griffo's program, resulting from the more than 5,800 donated devices.

Tables, iPads and mp3 players are accepted for recycling in addition to cell phones — working or broken — as well as the chargers for any of those devices. Cases and other accessories for the devices can also be donated if they are in their original packaging.

Laptops and computers are not accepted for this program.

The last day for donations is Dec. 11.

For more information, go to the organizations website at www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com.