Friday, February 13, 2009
As technology increases, many individuals and businesses are upgrading their cell phones regularly, leaving used phones obsolete. Catholic Charities Harbor House has found a use for these old cell phones.
Harbor House collects all types of cell phones to utilize at the shelter. Some donated cell phones are sent to recycling centers such as Shelter Alliance and Blue Touch. These centers trade "retired" cell phones for up to $30 each.
Shelter Alliance is a program of GRC Wireless Recycling, a private sector firm in Florida, dedicated to wireless recycling. The program is fully funded through the resale of the collected cellular phones. Since 2004, Catholic Charities Harbor House has earned $4,279 from Shelter Alliance through donations of recycled cell phones.
Blue Touch Wireless is a locally owned business that purchases not only phones, but also accessories. Since 2007, Blue Touch has purchased $555 worth of phone equipment from Harbor House.
The donations of these cell phones are a way that our community helps women and their children who come to Harbor House for help.
Catholic Charities Harbor House offers safe, secure, private rooms for single women or mothers with children in a supportive and caring atmosphere. Client services include a 24-hour hotline, connection to community resources, counseling, education, support groups, community outreach, advocacy, children's programs, case management, support in court, and basic necessities.
The shelter is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week with caring, trained people who meet the emotional and physical needs of the women and children in crisis who call the shelter for assistance.
Harbor House also offers life skills training to women in shelter. The primary goal of this program is to foster self worth and independence in the women to decrease the chance of returning to an abuser or finding a new abusive partner. The program provides training on issues such as budgeting, parenting, nutrition, housing opportunities, health issues, stress management, credit and banking, as well as substance abuse prevention.
Cell phones that can be turned into donations are integral in keeping these services going.
Newer, more portable hand-held cell phones are put to use at the Shelter as well. These phones are programmed with "911" emergency assistance and given to women to use if they find themselves in danger. Having a way to contact assistance anytime and anywhere gives these women the reassurance they need to get back on their feet and out of violent situations.
To donate cell phones, please bring phone, battery, and charger to Catholic Charities Administration building at 532 N. Broadway. Offices are open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please call 264-8344, ext. 261 for more information.