Does anybody else have a weird junk drawer in their house that serves as a graveyard for retired, once-loved electronics? I do, and my pink Motorola Razr is chillin’ in there collecting dust next to the Nokia my mom got me in middle school that I treasured back in the day. Turns out, my old phones could save somebody’s life. This month, Safety Net, a program that aims to educate victims of domestic violence on using technology to escape their abusers, is collecting old phones from junk drawers across the country. The phones will be recycled for their parts or sold, with the proceeds going toward empowering victims. The Safety Net Project was created by the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), and they’re partnering with DoSomething.org and MTV to amp up awareness with the Cell Phones For Survivors campaign.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. At some point, you’ve probably heard the statistic that one in four women will experience relationship violence in her lifetime. If you haven’t seen it show up in the life of someone close to you yet, you almost surely will in the future — and that is just not acceptable. Statistically, a quarter of my dearest friends have likely known violence in their lives, and that’s not okay with me. The numbers are pretty scary: about 3.3 million people under age 18 are exposed to domestic violence every year. Women ages 20-24 are at the highest risk of becoming victims.
There are an estimated 500 million old, unused cell phones that are sitting around in peoples’ homes and junk drawers. 500 million, guys. That’s a lot of phones. This is a free, easy way to make a tremendous impact on somebody’s life. It’s an awful feeling to look at the state of the world today and have no idea how to change it, which is why I love that Cell Phones For Survivors spells out exactly how we can make a difference. Through November 1st, sign up at DoSomething.org, gather your old phones, and you’ll receive a free shipping label to mail them off. Quick, easy, and very good karma.