By Edward Cardenas 

SOUTHFIELD (CBS Detroit) – Verizon Wireless has launched a statewide drive to collect 3,000 no-longer used wireless phones, accessories and tablets which will benefit victims of domestic violence.

The kickoff of the drive, which runs through Nov. 30, coincides with Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Organizers state donated phones can help victims of abuse feel safer and less isolated by giving them a way to call emergency or support services, employers, family and friends, according to officials.

“Verizon Wireless’ goal is to place phones in the hands of as many domestic violence survivors across Michigan as possible so they can call for help when needed,” said Verizon Wireless Region President Lauren Love-Wright, in a release. “Our customers are crucial in helping us make this happen.”

Donated wireless phones given to HopeLine are refurbished, which generate proceeds for the program through both cash grants and phones to those who need help, according to Verizon officials. Refurbished phones from HopeLine — which are loaded with 3,000 minutes of wireless service and text-messaging service — are then provided to local domestic violence agencies, local government agencies and law enforcement agencies who use the devices with their domestic violence clients.

If donated phones are unsalvageable, they are recycled in an environmentally sound way under a zero-landfill policy, Verizon officials stated.

Verizon Wireless has donated $107,000 this year to six Michigan nonprofits that work to end domestic violence. MSU Safe Place – which services including free and confidential advocacy, emergency shelter, counseling, to survivors of violence and their minor children – is one of the beneficiaries of the donation and received $25,000.

“Organizations that assist domestic violence survivors in Michigan, including MSU Safe Place, continue to experience high call volumes as more individuals and families come forward in need of help, support, programming and housing,” said MSU Safe Place Director Holly Rosen, in a release. “Donating a previously used device is a simple way to make a small donation that could save a life.”

If donated phones are unsalvageable, they are recycled in an environmentally sound way under a zero-landfill policy.

Phones can be dropped off at any Verizon Wireless corporate retail store. To find a nearby company-owned store, visit www.verizonwireless.com/stores.

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