September 22, 2004
Charlotte, NC - In an effort to give domestic violence victims assistance in calling for help and to raise money for domestic violence programs, the Mecklenburg County Women's Commission is collecting used unwanted cell phones. Many of the phones will go to domestic violence victims for use in emergency situations; others will be sold to provide funds for shelters and social service providers.
The Women's Commission is working with Shelter Alliance in the effort, tapping into an estimated 30 million idle phones sitting in drawers and closets nationwide. More than 200 organizations nationwide collect cell phones for 911 emergency purposes and fundraising.
A cell phone can be programmed to call 911 regardless of whether the user has purchased a service plan; the phone simply needs to be fully charged. Also, 911 services are automatic on any home or business phone where previous services had been in place even when there is no dial tone.
Many phones cannot be used because the previous user's account information is still intact. The Women's Commission gives these phones to Shelter Alliance, which refurbishes and distributes the phones for use. Shelter Alliance gives a monetary contribution for these unusable cell phones. The money collected by the Women's Commission is earmarked for a variety of safety items that are then extended to domestic violence victims.
Phones can be dropped off at the Women's Commission office at the Hal Marshall County Services Center, 700 North Tryon Street in Charlotte, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. For more information, call 704-432-1568.
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Mike Sexton 704-432-1568 or 980-721-8604(m)