October 13, 2011
By Alex Degman
A state-sponsored initiative to raise awareness of domestic violence received an overwhelming response, according to organizers.
The lieutenant governor’s office partnered with Verizon Wireless to hold a cell phone drive. The phones will be refurbished and donated to domestic violence shelters in Chicago, Springfield and Carbondale.
The phones will only be able to dial 911. Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon says that service is highly sought among domestic violence victims.
“The folks that I’ve worked with in need are desperate to have that kind of communication tool,” Simon says. “I’ve never had to persuade anyone to carry a phone with them when they’re in an unsafe situation.”
About 1,000 phones are being shipped to Verizon this week for refurbishment. The company will donate $5,000 each to the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Metropolitan Chicago Battered Women’s Network.
Phones can be dropped off at Verizon stores and at the WJBC studios at 236 Greenwood Avenue in Bloomington. You can also get more information at http://aboutus.vzw.com/communityservice/hopeLine.html.