ROXBURY, NJ – Motivated by a non-profit organization’s use of music to help Alzheimer’s sufferers, an Eisenhower Middle School student is collecting iPods to donate to the effort.

The student, Zachary Solano 12, has set up a donation box in the middle school’s main office. He is asking people to donate used iPods (Nano/Shuffle/Touch) as well as iPhones or iPads. Solano is also taking $49 check donations, which would be used to a purchase a new iPod Shuffle, or iTunes cards in denomination.

Everything Solano collects will be donated to Music & Memory, a non-profit organization based in Mineola, N.Y. which, according to a press release, “brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly or infirm through digital music technology, vastly improving quality of life.”

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According to Music & Memory, Solano learned about the organization while watching a documentary about it called “Alive Inside.“ The film gave Solano the idea to collect the digital music players in preparation for his June bar mitzvah.

“I started researching Music & Memory, the organization that the documentary is about, and was amazed at how they use music to help people with Alzheimer’s disease and many other health problems,” said Solano.

Music & Memory says it “trains nursing home staffers and other elder care professionals, as well as family caregivers, how to create and provide personalized playlists using iPods and related digital audio systems that enable those struggling with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other cognitive and physical challenges to reconnect with the world through music-triggered memories.”

Solano said he chose to help Music & Memory as his mitzvah project because he finds music to be an vital part of his life. “I know how important music is to me,” he said. “I would never want to live without my favorite music.”

The box at Eisenhower Middle School will stay in place until March 25. Donations can also be given by calling (973) 476-3981 until April 30.