Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley is bringing “Cell Phones for Soldiers,” a program started in Massachusetts, to Queens in an effort to aid U.S. armed forces stationed abroad.
The program collects cell phones and gives them to ReCellular, the global leader in cell phone recycling, in exchange for funds for the purchase of international calling cards. Money from a single phone pays for an hour of talk time, Crowley said.
The program donates the calling cards to soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, and elsewhere, who use them to call friends and families in the United States.
“Hundreds of millions of Americans dispose of their old cell phones every year,” Crowley said in a statement. “Instead of throwing them away, I hope people will donate them to this great cause.”
The program was started with $21 by siblings in Norwell, Massachusetts. The non-profit organization has donated over 500,000 calling cards to soldiers overseas. The organization ships out over 6,000 cards each week.
“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 Glendale resident who served in Afghanistan from May of 2007 to August of 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.”
People interested in participating can donate their phones at Crowley’s office, located at 64-77 Dry Harbor Road in Middle Village, or at the office of Congressman Anthony Weiner, located at 80-02 Kew Gardens Road, Room 5000, in Kew Gardens.