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Hillsborough County Commission To Donate 2,600 Phone Cards To Troops

Posted May 1, 2012 by Howard Altman

Updated May 1, 2012 at 01:33 PM

The families of deployed troops tell me that one of the first things on their wish lists are calling cards to enable their loved ones to be able to phone home.

Tomorrow, Hillsborough County Commissioners on Wednesday (will present 2,600 phone calling cards to the MacDill Air Force Base Airman & Family Readiness Center 6FSS/FSFR and the 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion of the U.S. Marine Corps reserve.

The cards, totaling 170,000 minutes of talk time, were earned through the County’s ongoing participation in the national Cell Phones for Soldiers program, according to a commission media release.

According to the release:

Hillsborough County is a proud, four-year supporter of the non-profit, family-run organization, which provides the calling cards in exchange for receiving outdated and unwanted cell phones.

Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded in 2004 by two Massachusetts teenagers who wanted to provide deployed and returning U.S. troops a cost-free way of communicating with their families. Since its inception, the organization has recycled 10 million cell phones and provided troops with pre-paid calling cards equating to 150 million minutes of free talk time. The organization sends out 12,000 calling cards a month.

Hillsborough County participates in the program by sending surplus County cell phones, and phones collected in boxes located at 10 County facilities. Since August 2008, the County has collected more than 6,800 phones and donated more than 408,000 minutes of talk time to military men and women.

The drop boxes are at the following locations:

• Bloomingdale Regional Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico
• Brandon Regional Service Center, 311 Pauls Drive, Brandon
• Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road, Tampa
• County Center Lobby, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa                
• Jan K. Platt Regional Library, 3910 S. Manhattan Ave., Tampa
• Jimmy B. Keel Regional Library, 2902 W. Bearss Ave., Tampa    
• New Tampa Regional Library, 10001 Cross Creek Boulevard, Tampa
• SouthShore Regional Library, 15616 Beth Shields Way, Ruskin
• SouthShore Regional Service Center, 410 30th St. SE, Ruskin
• Upper Tampa Bay Regional Library, 11211 Countryway Blvd., Tampa

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