We’ve all got old cell phones lying around. Assemblyman Steve Cymbrowitz just sent out this press release, giving us a way to finally get rid of that junk and simultaneously help out victims of domestic abuse:
In an effort to protect domestic violence victims, I am once again launching a campaign in our community, in conjunction with Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes, asking for no-longer-used cell phones, which will be reprogrammed to dial 911 instantly and then distributed to victims of domestic violence. Currently in the Assembly, as a member of the Codes Committee, we have several vital pieces of legislation before us to help prevent domestic violence; among those bills are proposals to further enhance penalties for people who commit violence against their own family members. Unfortunately, recidivism rates for violence against loved ones tend to be occurring at higher rates.
Although we are still a long way from eradicating domestic violence, our goal can be achieved with each life saved through having access to a cell phone. The NYPD responded to 249,440 domestic violence incidents in 2010, which averages to over 680 incidents per day. In addition, the NYPD’s Domestic Violence Unit conducted 67,761 home visits in 2010, a 77% increase since 2002. These donated phones will serve as a lifeline for a neighbor in need, providing them with an important sense of security and assistance in restoring a victim’s independence. Anyone who has an unwanted cell phone lying around can make a significant difference in a New York domestic violence survivor’s life by bringing it in or mailing it to my office located at 1800 Sheepshead Bay Road.
My office will also be collecting any pair of eye glasses that you no longer need, whether prescription, reading, sunglasses or especially children’s, to provide needy individuals the ability to fully function through corrected vision. Good vision is a precious gift. It’s also a daily necessity. That old pair of eyeglasses, cast aside in a drawer, can improve another person’s life.
Glasses will be donated to Jewish Heritage of the Blind, which is committed to assuring that those who are legally considered blind or visually impaired have access to a much needed pair of glasses they would otherwise be unable to afford on their own.
Please bring in your old cell phones and eyeglasses to my office located at 1800 Sheepshead Bay Road.
Thank you for your participation.