Old phones help survivors of domestic abuse

Staff Report

INDIANAPOLIS — Outdated and unused cellphones are giving hope to survivors of domestic violence.

From now until the end of the month, first lady Karen Pence is hosting her third annual HopeLine from Verizon phone drive. HopeLine provides new phones equipped with 3,000 minutes to survivors so they can stay in touch with family, employers and doctors. This year, 700 new phones have been provided to Indiana organizations.

During the October donation drive, older phones, chargers and tablets from any carrier and in any condition can be dropped in boxes around the government center campus. Hoosiers can also donate year-round at Verizon stores.

The used phones are then refurbished or recycled. The refurbished phones are sold and the proceeds are used to fund non-profit agencies and to purchase phones for survivors of domestic abuse. If a phone is unsalvageable, the parts will be recycled and used to generate money.

“First Lady Karen Pence’s drives are one of the most successful drives in the nation and engages thousands of people at a single time,” John Granby, Verizon Great Lakes market president, said in a statement.

Since 2001, HopeLine from Verizon has collected more than 11.4 million phones nationwide and has donated more than $29 million in cash grants to domestic violence organizations.

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