Council Member Elizabeth S. Crowley launched a drive to collect old cell phones to be recycled into prepaid calling cards for U.S. troops stationed overseas, as part of the nationwide “Cell Phones For Soldiers” program. Cell Phones for Soldiers sends phones to ReCellular in exchange for funds to purchase calling cards. One recycled cell phone provides an hour of talk time for soldiers abroad.
“According to statistics from the Pentagon, roughly 200,000 U.S. troops are deployed overseas,” said Council Member Elizabeth Crowley. “Cell Phones for Soldiers is a great way to help connect American heroes abroad with their families back home. Over the next two months we hope to collect 1,000 cell phones which will allow soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan to talk with loved ones in the United States. Hundreds of millions of Americans dispose of their old cell phones every year. Instead of throwing them away, I hope people will donate them to this great cause.”
Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded by teenage siblings, Robbie and Brittany Berquist, from Norwell, Mass., with $21 of their own money. Since then, the registered 501c3 non-profit organization has raised millions of dollars in donations and distributed more than 500,000 prepaid calling cards to soldiers serving overseas. Every week, Cell Phones for Soldiers ships about 6,500 to 7,000 calling cards to service members in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait.
“Cell Phones for Soldiers is a great program because it supports the soldiers oversees and abroad in combat connect with family back home,” said Ronny Burdier, a resident of Glendale and CPO who served in the war in Afghanistan from May 2007 to August 2008. “The program seeks out family and moral support from back home and that is important. It’s great program for this community and as a soldier, I encourage people to support it.”
Those who wish to donate their cell phones, bring them to the Office of Council Member Elizabeth Crowley at 64-77 Dry Harbor Road, Middle Village, NY or the Office of Congressman Anthony Weiner at 80-02 Kew Gardens Road, Room 5000, Kew Gardens, NY 11415. For more information, visit cellphonesforsoldiers.com.