Bring in old cellphones and Verizon gets them to abuse victims

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - The day after Christmas, the Madison Verizon Wireless store was buzzing with customers. The holiday season is the time of year when stores simply can't keep cellular toys on the shelf. So what do you do with your old ones?

"It's a great time for our customers to donate the devices they no longer use to the HopeLine program," said Verizon retail district manager Tariq Muhammad.

Did you know one in four women and one in seven men are affected by domestic violence in the United States? The cellular retail giant HopeLine initiative distributes cell phones to victims who don't have a way to communicate, whether they are in shelters or in the abusive household.

But to make that distribution happen, you provide the phone.

"Each of our Verizon Wireless locations has a box where customers can come in and put their devices that they no longer use," said Muhammad.

'Tis the season for giving -- and new devices are often at the top of our lists. So what better use for our old devices than to donate them to those who could really use them?

"Since 2012, the HopeLine program has donated over 15,000 phones to abused women," said Muhammad. "Since October of this year, we have already donated 4,600 phones through the program."

For people escaping those situations, that donated cell phone could help rebuild their lives. But only after the donated device has been professionally wiped clean of your information.

"HopeLine works with separate companies to refurbish the phones and make sure they are in working condition," Muhammad explained.

So that phone that becomes useless to you can change everything for someone else. And if you donate in North Alabama, it will go to a victim in the area.

Learn more about HopeLine here.

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