Senator Joseph Griffo, along with AT&T, the Utica Comets, the CNY Veterans Outreach Center and the Army National Guard, kicked off his annual Cell Phones for Soldiers collection drive on Tuesday.

Griffo says for every donated phone or mobile device valued at $5, Cell Phones for Soldiers is able to provide 2 and-a-half hours of free talk time to deployed troops via long distance calling cards.

"The holidays can be a difficult time for our military because they are so often so far away from their families, said Griffo. "The simple sound of a loved one's voice can go a long way to lift up their spirits.

You can drop off your used or unwanted cell phone or tablets at the following locations:

  • Jervis Public Library: 613 N. Washington St., Rome     
  • Adirondack Bank Center, 400 Oriskany St. W., Utica 
  • Central New York Veterans Outreach Center, 726 Washington St., Utica 
  • Slocum Dickson Medical Group, 1729 Burrstone Road, New Hartford 
  • Utica Public Library: 303 Genesee St., Utica            
  • Chanatry’s Hometown Market: 485 French Road, Utica  
  • Utica State Office Building: 207 Genesee St., Utica 
  • Turning Stone Resort Casino: 5218 Patrick Road, Verona  
  • New Hartford Public Library: 2 Library Lane, New Hartford 
  • Lloyds of Lowville: 7405 S. State St., Lowville 
  • Lowville Free Library, 5387 Dayan St., Lowville 
  • The Cottage Inn, 97 94 NY-12, Copenhagen  
  • Massena Public Library, 41 Glenn St., Massena 
  • Potsdam Public Library, 2 Park St., Potsdam 

You can also drop off your devices at AT&T offices in New Hartford, Utica, Rome and Oneida.

The drive starts on Veterans Day and runs through December 11.

This is the sixth year the collection drive has taken place, with nearly 5,000 devices having been donated so far.

Since 2004, Cell Phones for Soldiers has provided U.S. troops with more than 400 million minutes that matter.

For more information on Cell Phone for Soldiers you can visit cellphonesforsoldiers.com.

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