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Evanston Legislators call upon residents to help combat domestic violence by recycling old cell phones.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Special to

Are you getting a new phone this holiday season? U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky, State Senator Jeff Schoenberg, State Representative Julie Hamos, and Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin encourage you to donate your old cell phones to help combat domestic violence. 

Used wireless phones can be dropped off at the Evanston Legislative Offices during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM, located at 820 Davis St., 1st Floor, Evanston, IL 60201.

In partnership with the Wireless Foundation's "Call to Protect" program, the legislators will collect wireless phones which will be donated, with matching airtime, to two local domestic violence organizations, Between Friends and YWCA Evanston/NorthShore, that are leading the campaign to end domestic violence. “The Call to Protect program saves lives,” says Kathy Doherty, Executive Director of Between Friends “These donated cell phones are a critical part of the safety planning Between Friends does with victims of domestic violence.  By donating a wireless phone to the Call to Protect program the community helps keep women and children safe.”

Phones donated to the Call to Protect program are refurbished and programmed with "911" and other emergency numbers.  The wireless phones are then provided to local shelters to assist victims of domestic violence during their transition from living in an abusive situation to regaining safety and independence. “Very often, domestic violence victims have no means to call for immediate assistance or protection from abusers. Wireless phones can make a big difference to both staff and victims by providing instant and easy access to police departments and the 24-hour domestic violence hotline,” says Genriyeta Papirov, Administrative Director of the YWCA Evanston/North Shore.

Since the Call to Protect program was established in 1996 more than 37,000 phones have been deployed to domestic violence agencies to expand prevention programs and implement national awareness campaigns. Individuals who donate their wireless phones also have the privilege and responsibility of determining the value of their gift for tax purposes.

Any and all wireless phones are accepted.  All makes, models, and ages are welcome, as are wireless phone batteries and chargers.  Newer phones in good condition will be recycled and distributed to victims.  Very old phones or those in need of serious repair will be sold with proceeds used to support domestic violence programs.

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