Guest Author - Jeanette Stingley
Imagine for a moment that you are a survivor of domestic violence and you just got out on your own away from your abuser. You are out for a walk perhaps to the grocery store or in your car going some where. You look up and suddenly there is your abuser/stalker. You begin to panic because you feel trapped. What will you do? Your first thoughts are to alert someone to the situation but how can you do that when there is no phone or person in site to help you.
In 2006, Motorola, a large cell phone company, donated 16,000 used cell phones to various domestic violence charities around America. That can equate to 16,000 lives saved last year alone just because abuse survivors and victims had access to a cell phone if they were in a situation where a cell phone could save their life. Other cell phone companies such as Nokia and Nextel have similar programs in place to collect phones to redistribute or to sell to raise money for Domestic Violence causes.
I recently polled several people I know about their cell phones. I asked if they had old phones at home or if something were to happen to their phone would they consider donating locally for use by victims and survivors of Domestic Violence. All of them said yes IF they could be assured that the information stored on their phones would not be misused or fall into the wrong hands. According to the website ran by a refurbished cell phone charity called “The Wireless Foundation” you should retain any information off of the phone you need and erase it. When they receive phones, they complete erase the memory of the phones so all data will be lost.
Almost all donations are tax deductible as well. When you make your donation, you will have to request a receipt of some sort to provide with your tax forms at the end of every year.
Here is a listing of some places that take donations:
Verizon Wireless HOPEline
“Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine program puts the nation’s most reliable wireless network to work in our communities by turning unused wireless phones into support for victims of domestic violence.”
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence provides a pre-paid shipping label for you to print for sending your phone to them. This makes it even easier to make a donation!
And one last link. The Women Are Dreamers Too (WADT) provides this page that helps you organize your own phone drive.
WaDt is a not for profit 501 c 3 business technical training for victims of domestic violence