A pair of local state lawmakers are making sure veterans and area residents have a Merry Christmas.

Senator Joseph Griffo and AT&T collected 910 unwanted cell phones and mobile devices during the month-long “Cell Phones for Soldiers” drive.

The devices will be recycled to buy long distance calling cards for deployed troops.

Griffo says for every donated phone valued at $5, “Cell Phones for Soldiers” is able to provide 2 and-a-half hours of free talk time.

“Year after year, the residents of the 47th Senate District always shows their generosity and willingness to help those in need,”  Griffo said. “This year was no different, and, despite significant challenges related to COVID-19, everyone really stepped up once again. I would like to thank AT&T, Cell Phones For Soldiers, the Central New York Veterans Outreach Center, the Utica Comets and especially our caring and compassionate community for taking part in this collection drive and helping those who sacrifice for our greater good.”

For more information on Cell Phones for Soldiers, visit cellphonesforsoldiers.com.

Meanwhile, Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon delivered items collected during her hat and mitten drive to the Rome Rescue Mission and the House of the Good Shepherd on Wednesday.

Assemblywoman's Buttenschon's Offcie
Assemblywoman's Buttenschon's Offcie

Buttenschon was joined by a representative of the Utica Comets and Utica City FC to drop-off new hats, mittens, and scarves.

“The Mohawk Valley is a very caring and giving community and we saw that exemplified again this year during our hat and mitten drive,” Buttenschon said. “I want to thank Rob Esche and his staff, the Comets and UCFC fans, and the Oneida Herkimer Solid Waste Authority for teaming up to help keep the community warm this winter season.

Wreaths Across America Ceremony December 18, 2021

More than 2.4 million wreaths were placed on veterans’ headstones at 3,136 locations across the United States on December 18, 2021. The initiative is spearheaded every year by the non-profit group Wreaths Across America. The group was started in 1992 by Morrill Worcester, a businessman from Maine was began laying wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery. Now, with the mission of “Remember, Honor, Teach,” the groups lays wreaths at thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations. 

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