Donate cell phones for troops in Camillus

More than 150,000 troops are serving overseas and are away from their families. Members of the Camillus American Legion Post 1540 have joined with Cell Phones for Soldiers to call on the community to support these brave men and women by donating cell phones. Cell Phones for Soldiers hopes to collect more than 50,000 cell phones this year to help keep troops connected with their families.

Local residents can support the collection drive by donating their phones at the following locations:

- Camillus Elks Lodge, 6117 Newport road, Camillus; from 2 to 7 p.m. daily

- Camillus town clerk's office, Camillus Municipal Building, 4600 W. Genesee St.; from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

"We're proud to show our support for U.S. soldiers, and to contribute to a worthy cause like Cell Phones for Soldiers," said Bernie Bunce, post commander.

Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist from Norwell, Mass., with $21 of their own money. Since then, the registered 501c3 non-profit organization has raised almost $1 million in donations and distributed more than 500,000 prepaid calling cards to soldiers serving overseas.

The donated phones are sent to ReCellular, which pays Cell Phones for Soldiers for each phone -- enough to provide an hour of talk time to soldiers abroad.

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