Today please welcome Karen of the HopeLine program from Verizon. Rachel has teamed up with the HopeLine program which connects survivors of domestic violence to vital resources, funds organizations nationwide and protects the environment. Read below to learn more about how you can help.
After upgrading my last phone I was left wondering what to do with my old one. Since it still worked, I thought I might send it to one of those places that run TV ads saying they’ll buy your used electronics. But to be honest, it sounded like the few bucks I would get wouldn’t even be worth the hassle. After doing a little research on how to properly recycle it, I found Verizon Wireless’ organization, HopeLine.
At first, I was a little skeptical – Why would I give my working phone back to the place I bought it?… What if they just throw a new battery in it and resell it? Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Not only does the HopeLine program provide an environmentally friendly way to recycle your old devices, but at their own expense, Verizon refurbishes them. HopeLine then distributes the phones to victims of domestic violence and the organizations that help support them. Each phone is equipped with 3,000 anytime minutes, on Verizon Wireless’ nationwide coverage, call forwarding, call waiting, three-way calling, caller ID, voice mail and texting capabilities. With their “new” phone, the men, women, and children affected by abuse gain a completely free way to contact help at any time.
The company regularly provides funds for HopeLine to distribute among national and local domestic violence organizations. Earlier this year, when a Verizon store opened in Cape Cod, the program embraced the new community by donating $2,500 to Independence House, a local organization in Hyannis, MA that provides relief to victims of domestic abuse. A few days later, they donated $1,000 to Stronghold Atlanta, a women’s resource center aiding victims in the Georgia area.
They also encourage community members to volunteer, get involved, and most importantly, get informed. Recently, the University of Central Florida’s Victim Services took it upon themselves to raise awareness and hold a cellphone drive from early January to mid February. In just a few weeks, they had collected over 100 cell phones and two tablet devices.
Since 2001, HopeLine and its volunteers have helped donate over 151,000 phones to victims, and granted over $18 million towards the cause. If you want to help, each Verizon Wireless communication store is equipped with a donation center where you can drop off your phone. HopeLine also offers prepaid postage if you would like to mail in your contribution.
I know it sounds cliche, but it felt really good to know that instead of just gathering dust in my junk drawer, my phone is going to someone who really needs it. I think that if more people knew that such a small gesture could mean so much to someone, they would be more inclined to help. Personally I can’t remember the last time I’ve been in a position where I couldn’t reach out to someone for help, but it’s definitely something I won’t take for granted anymore.
Through HopeLine, the public can help prevent domestic violence by donating no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories in any condition from any service provider at any Verizon Wireless Communications Store, by mail or at special events held throughout the year.
Wireless phones given to HopeLine are refurbished and sold for reuse, generating proceeds for the program. Refurbished phones – complete with 3,000 minutes of wireless service and text-messaging service – are provided to local domestic violence agencies or local government and law enforcement agencies for use with their domestic violence clients. If donated phones are unsalvageable, they are recycled in an environmentally sound way under a zero landfill policy.
Donated phones can help victims of abuse feel safer and less isolated by giving them a way to call emergency or support services, employers, family and friends. Phone donations given locally benefit victims of abuse within that geographic area.
HopeLine also donates cash grants to nonprofit organizations to help fund education, programs, support services and community outreach.