Old cell phones will aid soldiers serving overseas


Staff Writer

Cell phones that people are no longer using can help soldiers who are overseas call their families at home.

Andrea Mesh, of Marlboro, the founder of Project Support Our Soldiers (SOS), has launched a cell phone collection campaign. During the campaign, cell phones will be collected at various locations.

After the cell phones are collected they will be sold to the American Cellular Donation Organization (ACDO) and the proceeds will then be used to purchase calling cards and other needed items for troops serving the nation abroad, according to Mesh.

“When we started Project SOS two years ago it was an effort to bring some comfort to our soldiers overseas. But some of our soldiers need us even more, the wounded,” Mesh said. “You couldn’t ask for a better gift that directly helps both the soldiers and their families. I can’t imagine a better use for your old, unwanted cell phone.”

According to a press release provided by the ACDO, the mission of Project SOS is to show gratitude and concern for troops, national guardsmen and reserves who are asked to put their lives, jobs and families on hold in order to serve their country.

According to the press release, there are more than 500 million used cell phones lying idle in the United States. That number increases by about 80 million each year as users try to keep up with the latest technology.

“We couldn’t be happier to help Project SOS advance their mission,” ACDO founder and Chief Executive Officer Vincent Serio said. “So much of what we take for granted at home is the result of the courage and selflessness exhibited by U.S. soldiers throughout history.”

The cell phone drive will run from now until June and will have drop-off locations in Manalapan, Freehold Township, Marlboro and Millstone Township.

The drop-off locations in Marlboro are Pathmark, ShopRite, Century 21 and the New York Sports Club, all on Route 9; St. Gabriel’s Church, Route 79; and the Marlboro Police Department, Township Drive.

Marlboro High School student Ilana Smith will also be collecting cell phones at the high school, Route 79.

The locations in Manalapan are the Monmouth County Library Headquarters, Symmes Road; Elite Fitness Center, Yorktowne Shopping Center, Gordons Corner Road; and Wegmans, Route 9.

The Freehold Township locations are the YMCA of Western Monmouth County, East Freehold Road; the Freehold Township municipal building, Stillwells Corner Road; Wachovia Bank, Iron Bridge Road; and the New Jersey Police Athletic League offices, South Street.

In Millstone Township, the Millstone Middle School, Millstone Road, will be collecting cell phones.

A box will be placed at each location to identify the Project SOS cell phone effort. People may place their old cell phones in the box.

Mesh thanked William Waple, a member of the Veterans Volunteers Advisory Committee in Marlboro, Jack Williams, from the Marlboro Improvement and Cultural Fund, the members of the Noontime Optimist Club. Freehold, and Marlboro residents Jean Casamassina, Fran Foligno and Jill Cohen for their help with this effort.