Friday, January 11, 2008

Another Cause of Mine

For those who are regular readers of this blog. Thanks you for taking the time to share my thoughts. Also you know I'm a strong advocate for many causes. all of them have touched my life somehow. This cause is no different.

I don't speak much about my history of being a victim of domestic violence. It is not something I care to put in this blog. Yet it has shaped the course of my life in so many ways. I won't go into it. Just know that I actively help those who have been in the same situation. Mainly I visit forums and websites devoted to raising the awareness of domestic violence. Plus I volunteer in a local safe house.

I recently found a website. Thanks to a very good friend of mine. someone who was also a victim and shares my passion for getting active in the community. This site is devoted to recycling old cell phones for a good cause.

The Wireless Foundation Call To Protect FAQ'S:

How do I get a tax receipt for donating my phone?
The Wireless Foundation is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization, so your phone and associated shipping expenses are typically tax-deductible. A printable tax receipt is available for your phone donation. The Foundation makes no determination of the value of your gift, and you should consult your tax advisor regarding the tax effects of your gift.

What is the goal of the CALL TO PROTECT® program?
The goal of the CALL TO PROTECT program is to enable people to retire their wireless phones in a manner that will help the environment and provide phones, with matching airtime, to domestic violence agencies. In addition, the funds generated through CALL TO PROTECT collections and other wireless industry programs have provided grants totaling over $10,000,000 to national organizations leading the campaign to end domestic violence.

What is the CALL TO PROTECT Program?
The CALL TO PROTECT initiative is committed to helping charities campaigning against domestic violence. More than 37,000 phones, with matching airtime, have been deployed to domestic violence agencies to expand prevention programs and implement national awareness campaigns.

Where do I donate my wireless phone?
After you deactivate your wireless service, place the phone, battery and charger (if available) in the mail to:

2555 Bishop Circle West
Dexter, MI 48130-1563

A printable tax receipt is available for your phone donation. You may also donate phones at a local collection center. If you would like to start a local collection, click here.

The Wireless Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, so your phone and associated shipping expenses are tax deductible.

Is there a drop-off point in my community?
We are establishing partnerships with hundreds of local businesses across the country to provide drop-off points for donated CALL TO PROTECT phones. Click here to find a local drop-off site in your area.

Can I designate that my phone will come back to my community?
The large volume of phones we are receiving on a daily basis makes it impossible to return a specific refurbished phone to the community where it was donated. However, through our ShelterHelp program citizens may encourage a domestic violence shelter in their area to sign up for ShelterHelp online, and then send in used wireless phones under their shelter's account number. By sending in phone collections under a shelter's ShelterHelp account number, this guarantees that the funds generated through the collection will be credited to the shelter's online account.

Do you take any wireless phone?
Yes, please send us any hand-carried wireless phone you no longer need. After deactivating your phone's service, please include the phone's battery and charger. We accept all wireless phones, batteries, chargers, pagers, blackberries, PDA's, regardless of age, working condition or whether or not the phone has its charger and/or battery.

How does someone in need get a CALL TO PROTECT Phone?
CALL TO PROTECT phones are distributed to potential survivors by participating local domestic violence organizations and police departments. To determine if there is a participating organization in your community, please contact a local shelter or police agency directly.

For general information about getting help for a survivor of domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

How do the phones work?
Donated phones are refurbished and sold to raise funds to purchase wireless phones and airtime. The phones are capable of dialing 911 and non-emergency numbers, such as domestic violence shelters. In addition, proceeds from the sale of donated phones are used to make cash grants to national domestic violence organizations. To date, The Wireless Foundation has made cash grants totaling over $3 million to national domestic violence organizations.

Could I be charged for any airtime when the phones are refurbished?
No. We do recommend that you deactivate the service on the phone you are donating, and erase personal data prior to sending it in. Once your phone reaches our processing facility in Dexter, MI, the phone's memory is completely erased.

How can I start collecting phones in my community?
You can start collecting phones in your community by spreading the message to your friends and neighbors. Go to local businesses and ask them to support CALL TO PROTECT by putting up a phone collection box in their office or store. Contact your local newspaper, radio or TV station and ask them to publicize the mailing address and spread the word about how no longer used wireless phones can help fight domestic violence.

The site even offers a free printable shipping label.

The Wireless Foundation is so much more than just the Call To Protect campaign. Check out these other great causes they are involved in:

Wireless AMBER Alerts ™ System -
Participating Carriers

The Wireless AMBER Alerts initiative is a free public service that allows wireless subscribers to opt in to receive Wireless AMBER Alerts as text messages on their cell phones by visiting the above link.

Participating Carriers

The national Text 2HELP Initiative is a partnership between The Wireless Foundation and the American Red Cross that allows customers of participating wireless carriers to send a text message to the American Red Cross and make a donation for relief efforts during a major natural disaster.

In the event of a major disaster such as Hurricane Katrina, the American Red Cross will collaborate with The Wireless Foundation to activate the Text 2HELP initiative. At that time, subscribers of participating wireless carriers can send a text message to "2HELP" (24357) containing the word "GIVE." A $5 tax-deductible donation will be made to the American Red Cross for disaster relief efforts. Donations will appear on customers' monthly bills or be debited from a prepaid account balance.


Laura said...

Thank you for sharing this information about recycling old cell phones for a good cause.

I especially like the "free printable shipping label" aspect. What a great idea! Now there are no more excuses not to pass on those old phones to a good cause. You even have a free shipping label to send off your phone.

If you upgrade your phone periodically, or change cell phone service, this is the perfect thing for your old phone.

This is an easy way to make a difference.

CALL TO PROTECT is a good way for everyone to make a small contribution to help stop Domestic Violence.