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Lacey Woman Calls on Residents to Donate Cell Phones for Soldiers

Old cell phones dropped off at three locations in town will be recycled to receive funds to purchase calling cards and other communication tools for active duty military members

Michele Barletto-Baldwin’s husband is a disabled Vietnam veteran, her main motive to get involved with Cell Phones for Soldiers by setting up three drop off locations in Lacey.

Residents can now stop by Battaglia Chiropractic, Lacey Collision and New Concepts Hair Salon to drop off used cell phones.

Barletto-Baldwin will then pick up the donations and send them to Cell Phones for Soldiers, where they will then be recycled. The money the organization receives from recycling cell phones is used to purchase calling cards and other communication tools for the U.S. military.

“I just think it’s such a worthy cause,” she said.

Cell Phones for Soldiers began in 2004 as a non-profit organization with the purpose of providing cost-free communication services to active duty military members and veterans. Since its inception, Cell Phones for Soldiers has provided more than 168 million minutes of free talk time and recycled more than 10.5 million cell phones.

Barletto-Baldwin, a paraprofessional at the Mill Pond School, started participating by setting up drop boxes in the schools to encourage student involvement. Since she started the collection three weeks ago, she has received approximately 14 phones to donate. The public can drop off their cell phones at the aforementioned local businesses.

“I’ll be doing this as long as I live in Lacey. There’s no reason to stop because everyone has an old cell phone. There’s always going to be a soldier somewhere who needs one,” she said.

Barletto-Baldwin pointed out when soldiers fought in previous wars, communication was limited to mail. Today, phone cards for overseas are costly, she said.

“It’s important. When guys came home from Vietnam, it was not a good situation. You may not support the war in Iraq, but support the troops,” she said.

Battaglia Chiropractic is located at 15 Manchester Avenue in Forked River.

Lacey Collision 341 Route 9 in Lanoka Harbor.

New Concepts Hair Salon is located at 44 Manchester Avenue in Forked River.

TheGreatHoax December 13, 2012 at 12:06 AM
Thank you, Mrs. Baldwin, for thinking of the troops. God bless you.
GB Shore December 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Thanks and this is great. One question I have however is when they are recycled, who is doing that? Are the phones being "scrubbed" to ensure that any personal information is wiped clean? The reason I ask is that I have a friend who works for a company who does this on a large scale for companies who have hundreds/thousands of cell phone. Due to various Compliance Regulations, they have to ensure that they go thru each phone and delete any personal information. I will still donate the 6 or so phones I have but wanted to see if you knew about this in particular. Thank you.
Kelley December 13, 2012 at 02:16 PM
No different than donating used clothing that is recycled in the AMVETS bins. The proceeds from all these recycled materials (clothes, phones, etc) benefit worthy causes.

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