Inside local Verizon stores next to some high-tech gadgets you'll find a donation box for the HopeLine. Inside, you'll find cell phones and accessories from all carriers, makes, and models. These old phones aren't heading to the dumpster, but instead into the hands of victims of domestic violence.
"Knowing that they are doing something with this old thing you find in your drawer, you can bring them in and donate them and know it's going towards a good cause," said Ryan Ross a local Verizon store manager.
The discarded phones and accessories are refurbished or recycled. The ones that get a second life are given to victims of domestic violence through organizations like the Boise's Women and Children Alliance. Where so often, an abuser takes control of their victim's ability to reach out for help. For the phones that are recycled, all of the money goes to efforts to end the cycle of abuse. A total of $10,000 in cash grants has been donated to the Women's and Children's Alliance.
The non-profit says they are using the money to expand their financial education classes, so victims can get out from under the shadow of their abusers. If you think these donation boxes at Verizon stores go unnoticed, You'd be wrong. A manager at one store says his gets filled about once a week.
"Actually a few times I see guests walking over here and put some devices and accessory here a couple times a day," said Ross.
Verizon says since 2001, the HopeLine project has collected more than 12 million phones and donated 29 million dollars to non-profits so victims can get the help they need.
You don't need to go into a Verizon store to help, click here to learn how to mail your old phone in.