Answering The Call For Help

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 3:47pm

Verizon refurbishes used cell phones as part of program to help domestic abuse victims.

The pace at which cell phone carriers unveil their latest and greatest is mind-boggling.

As you upgrade you should know those seemingly outdated phones can be put to good use through a Verizon program called "Hopeline."

"A lot of our customers will bring in 5,6,7 in at a time when they find out about the program and have a stack of them and bring them all in at once," says Verizon's Matt Riffle.

After you donate your old cell phones Verizon refurbishes them, loads them with 3,000 minutes and turns them into tools for victims of domestic violence.

"That tool is a safe phone that she does not have to pay for that will allow her to call her children's school, check in with her boss, look for work and return calls about interviews," explains United Family Services' Sharon Thacker.

Verizon also takes old batteries, chargers and even phones from other wireless carriers.

The refurbished phones also come without GPS tracking, giving women a freedom and anonymity they desperately crave.

"He is not tracking her voice mail, he is not tracking her - and there is a feeling of safety, a psychological feeling of safety that she now has a tool, that if she sees him or he comes near her she can call 9-1-1 with these phones," Thacker says.

An estimated one in four women experience domestic violence at some point, not to mention many men and children, too.

To find out more about Verizon's Hopeline program call the national hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE.


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