Donations give abuse victims a voice

caines | 1/17/2013, 4:30 a.m.

After surviving domestic violence, the victims who have overcome those hardships should have a place to escape a safe, secure home that allows them to self-determine their violence-free future. This is the belief of Women In Distress of Broward County, a full-service domestic violence center that has a 24-hour crisis line, an emergency shelter, individual counseling, support groups and domestic violence awareness trainings. In support of those efforts, Women In Distress collaborated with Pollo Tropical for a one-day campaign called A Handheld for a Handheld on Jan. 9, in which they accepted old cell phone donations in exchange for the new Pollo Tropical menu feature, the Beef Wrap. But to those who have just heard of the campaign, you can still donate cell phones year-round to Women in Distress and impact the community. In fact, Women In Distress has a "Ring In The New Year" campaign for the month of January, when they strongly encourage everyone to donate cell phones. The phones can be dropped off at the Women In Distress Thrift Store, located at 1372 North State Road, Margate FL 33063. The devices dont have to be in working order, they just simply need to have a battery; all makes and models will be accepted. According to the Women in Distress website, cell phones play an integral role in the safety plan of their participants by allowing them to dial 911 in case of emergencies. Also, other phones that arent in working order are recycled into a cash donation, which goes directly to fund the programs and services of Women In Distress. Both campaigns are strategically held right after the holidays because many people receive new cell phones over the holidays and arent sure what to do with their old ones, according to Courtney Holshouser, the development manager at Women In Distress. Its a great opportunity to get rid of your old cell phone and give back to the community at the same time, she said. By Malika A. Wrightmwright@miamitimesonline.com