Rotary club gathers old cell phones to aid abuse victims

By Jessica Kalin

The Kishwaukee Sunrise Rotary Club is collecting old cell phones in a drive to aid domestic abuse victims.

During the drive, which will end Monday, old cell phones will be reprogrammed to dial 911. The phones then will be donated to Safe Passage, a not-for-profit organization committed to helping abuse victims.

“We give the phones to domestic violence victims who don’t have any other phone access for safety purposes,” Marilyn Montgomery of Safe Passage said.

Kishwaukee Sunrise Rotary Club has held two phone drives each year since fall 1998. The club has collected 150 phones this year, with 31 phones coming from one man.

“We supply phones for people who need them and, at the same time, it is clearing the clutter from homes,” said Jim MacMurdo, president of Kishwaukee Sunrise Rotary Club.

Old cell phones that can’t be reprogrammed are recycled, and Safe Passage receives the money from the phones to support the foundation. There is no cost to the club for collecting the phones and shipping is reimbursed by Verizon Wireless, MacMurdo said.

“The only cost we have is [our labor],” he added.

Drop-off locations:

Northern Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Associates, 3266 Resource Parkway

Rice Chiropractic Life Center, 229 E. Hillcrest Drive

Lincoln Inn Family Restaurant, 240 E. Lincoln Highway

American National Bank, 124 South Main St., Sycamore

Wolff & Associates, 513 DeKalb Ave., Sycamore