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Ortt announces donation of 900 cellphones for soldiers

LOCKPORT – State Sen. Robert G. Ortt announced last week that his constituents donated more than 900 “gently used” cellphones and mobile devices to provide free calling time for the use of troops abroad and veterans at home during the holiday season.

Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, said collection bins were set up at AT&T stores and public locations around the area. Proceeds from recycling the devices were used to buy long-distance calling cards for military personnel and veterans.

The nationwide Cell Phones for Soldiers program provides 2 1/2 hours of talk time to deployed troops for every donated phone worth at least $5. The charity has provided some 216 million minutes of free talk time to veterans and deployed service personnel since 2004.

The local drive was undertaken by Ortt, the Niagara County Veterans Service Agency and AT&T.