PITTSBURGH, PA — Crisis Center North and Bell Atlantic Mobile today launched a program aimed at putting old and unused wireless phones to work for the good of the community. The company's Phone Recycling Program will allow customers in the Pittsburgh area to recycle their older model wireless phones by donating their equipment to Crisis Center North to benefit victims of domestic violence.
"These phones will provide a critical link to safety for the women and children we serve," explained Grace Coleman, executive director of Crisis Center North. "We are thrilled to work with Bell Atlantic Mobile and are very pleased that Pennsylvania State Senator Melissa Hart has offered her district offices as collection points where residents can drop off the equipment. UPMC Passavant Hospital will also collect at the reception desk in the main lobby."
Donated phones must be portable models and include batteries and chargers. Phones, batteries and chargers must be placed in zip-lock bags before drop-off.
Bell Atlantic Mobile will test and reprogram the recycled phones to dial 9-1-1 and return the phones to Crisis Center North so they can be given to the women who are at risk.
"The evolution of wireless phones from analog to digital and the appeal of newer, smaller handsets, have produced a large supply of old, unused equipment sitting in desks, cabinets and even toy boxes throughout the area," said Roger Tang, regional vice president of Bell Atlantic Mobile in Pittsburgh. "Our objective is to reclaim those phones and put them into the hands of people who need emergency communications."
Senator Melissa Hart praised the program and invites constituents to drop off unused cellular phones at her district offices during September. "Providing women with full-time, ready access to 9-1-1 assistance will make it easier for them to escape their abusers, and could save lives. I encourage everyone with an unused cell phone to stop in and drop it off," she said.
Senator Hart's district offices are located at 3380 Babcock Boulevard, Pittsburgh; Town Hall Center, 2400 Leechburg Road, New Kensington; and the Cranberry Municipal Center, 2525 Rochester Road, Cranberry Township.
UPMC Passavant Hospital is located at 9100 Babcock Boulevard.
The Washington Women's Shelter in Washington, Pennsylvania, began a similar phone recycling drive this summer. Their campaign will continue throughout September. Equipment can be dropped off at the Shelter's administrative offices, 624 Washington Trust Building, 6 South Main Street, Washington, Pennsylvania.
The donated phones will be reprogrammed and returned to the shelters in October as part of Bell Atlantic Mobile's support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Additional information about the individual phone recycling drives can be obtained by contacting Crisis Center North (Grace Coleman) at 412-364- 6728 or the Washington Women's Shelter (Michelle Robinson-Ritter) at 724-223-5481.
Editor's Note: In the Pittsburgh Region, Bell Atlantic Mobile was named the leader in overall customer satisfaction among wireless users, according to the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates 1998 U.S. Wireless Customers Satisfaction Study. Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the East and systems in the Southwest, covering 180,000 square miles, and the largest chain of retail outlets devoted exclusively to wireless voice, data, and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has 6.6 million customers and 8,000 employees from Maine to Georgia and in parts of Arizona, New Mexico and west Texas. Through its "Wireless at Work..." community service program, the company uses its technology to help individuals and communities improve security and emergency communications. Bell Atlantic Mobile's parent, Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE:BEL) is one of the world's largest wireless communications companies, with domestic operations in 25 states and international investments in Mexico, Europe and the Pacific Rim. For more information on Bell Atlantic Mobile visit: www.bam.com; on global operations visit: www.bellatlantic.com/worldwide.