OVERLAND PARK, KAN. — Anywhere from 12-15 million wireless phones will be replaced in the United States this year, leaving millions of wireless phones to gather dust in drawers and closets. A national program was launched locally to help put these phones to good use.
Verizon Wireless (formerly Cellular One in Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka, St. Joseph and Wichita) has joined the Wireless Foundation, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Motorola to help collect one million used wireless phones to benefit victims of domestic violence. The initiative coincides with National Wireless Safety Week, which runs the week of May 22.
"We are encouraging anyone that has a wireless phone that is no longer being used, regardless of make or model, to visit any of our Verizon Wireless retail locations in Kansas or Missouri. Special drop boxes have been set up to make it easier and more convenient for people to participate in the 'Donate A Phone' program," said Kirk Golbach, regional president for Verizon Wireless in Kansas/Missouri. "These phones will be recycled and brought back into communities to provide security and mobility to women in domestic violence situations. Ultimately, they will help save lives."
Through CALL to PROTECT, wireless companies provide free wireless phones and airtime to aid victims and their advocates. CALL to PROTECT is a wireless industry initiative that provides domestic violence victims with wireless phones that are pre-programmed with emergency numbers so that they can access help at the touch of a button. On May 25, Denise Brown, chair of the Nicole Brown Charitable Foundation and sister of Nicole Brown Simpson, will help launch the program locally to benefit seven domestic violence shelters in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Verizon Wireless stores in Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka, St. Joseph and Wichita will serve as collection points for used wireless phones, batteries and chargers until July 1, 2000. To receive a tax receipt, donors must provide contact information at the time of donation.
"Every day, 5,000 women across the United States become victims of domestic violence. The CTIA Wireless Foundation is pleased to partner with Verizon Wireless and Motorola on this life-saving initiative," said David Diggs, executive director, Wireless Foundation. "It is through the generosity of wireless carriers and manufacturers, and the response of concerned citizens across America that these phones, or safety tools, can be placed in the hands of victims in need."
Wireless industry analysts estimate that there are currently as many as 24 million inactive wireless phones in people's homes and businesses.1
For more information about the Donate a Phone program, visit their web site at www.donateaphone.com. Donations can also be sent to: CALL to PROTECT, c/o Brightpoint, Inc., 501 AirTech Parkway, Doors 23/24, Plainfield, IN, 46168.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with over 16 million wireless voice and data customers and nearly 4 million paging customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by combining the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE:BEL) and Vodafone AirTouch Plc (LSE:VOD; NYSE:VOD). The new company includes assets from Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. Cellular One Kansas/Missouri was previously owned and operated by AirTouch Communications.
Verizon Wireless will be further strengthened by the wireless assets of GTE Corp. (NYSE:GTE) when it completes its merger with Bell Atlantic. Once complete, the new company will have a footprint covering more than 90% of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50, and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. Headquartered in New York City and Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is 30,000 employees strong.
About the Wireless Foundation
The Wireless Foundation was established in 1993 by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) to initiate and oversee strategic philanthropic wireless communications programs to make communities safer, families more secure and teachers more effective in the classroom.