BOWLING GREEN, OH (WTOL) - Verizon is ending their Hopeline program. It provided donated cell phones to domestic violence survivors.
Verizon Wireless says one of the main reasons they are ending the HopeLine program is because they no longer receive recycled cell phones.
Instead customers bring in their cell phones to trade in for newer ones.
The Cocoon in Bowling Green is one of the shelters currently receives cell phones from Verizon. The phones have pre-loaded minutes on them and are completely free.
The program is set to end in December leaving shelter organizers on the line.
"One of the things we know about domestic violence is that it comes with lots of control on the part of the abuser. So one of the things that's easy for the abuser to control is phone service," said Director Kathy Mull.
The Cocoon estimates they have received between 100 to 150 phones from Verizon through this program. They said it is an essential part of helping survivors feel safe.
"Having this phone allows them to be able to do things they would not have been able to do otherwise," said Mull.
The shelter is asking for help from the community so they can continue providing phones to survivors.
To donate a phone you can call the cocoon directly or d rop one off at St. Marks in Bowling Green.