Have you upgraded your cellphone recently? If the answer is yes, Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr. wants your old one.
To support victims of domestic violence and other crimes, as well as social service agencies and senior citizens with limited incomes, Sheriff Toulon's office is collecting unused cellphones to be "repurposed into lifelines" for vulnerable residents.
Through a partnership with the 911 Cell Phone Bank, which is based in Ocala, Fla., donated phones will be securely wiped of all personal information before being given to those in need. Domestic violence victims, Sheriff Toulon said in an announcement, often flee their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs, without cellphones, money, or important documents.
According to the 911 Cell Phone Bank, "Consumers and businesses are discarding electronic devices at an alarming rate. It is estimated that far less than half of the 40 million tons of electronic devices manufactured in the U.S. alone are recycled. We feel the best form of recycling is re-use, especially when someone vulnerable is helped."
Collection bins are located in the lobby of each county correctional facility, at the Civil Enforcement Bureau in Yaphank, and at First District Court in Central Islip. More information can be found online at SuffolkSheriff.com.