Central New Yorkers came through once again to help soldiers overseas keep in touch with their loved ones. Senator John DeFrancisco's 7th annual Cell Phones for Soldiers collection drive netted more than 1,100 used mobile phones.
The national non-profit program recycles the devices and uses the proceeds to purchase international calling cards for deployed troops. One recycled phone provides an average of 30 minutes of talk time. That means this year's collection will give troops roughly 33,000 minutes of free calling card time.
An air force veteran himself, Sen. DeFrancisco says he's grateful for the continued support. During the past 7 years, the collection drive has netted more than 8,500 used mobile phones. More than twenty shopping centers, libraries, schools, and community organizations have stepped up to serve as collection sites.