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SMC turns unused phones into Hope

On Friday, January 31st, Spartanburg Methodist College donated over 60 cell phones to SAFE Homes-Rape Crisis Coalition, a non-profit organization serving victims of domestic violence and their dependent children in Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union counties, and victims of sexual assault in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties.

Upon discovering old Blackberry Smartphones and accessories the college no longer used, Trey Arrington, SMC’s new Executive Director of Information Technology, had Yvonne Harper, SMC Director of Public Information, reach out to the community for potential new homes for them. “Within minutes of contacting Sheriff Chuck Wright’s Office and 7th Circuit Solicitor Barry Barnett’s office both stressed the urgent need for such phones for area domestic violence victims and pointed us to SAFE Homes,” Harper stated. “Sadly one agency in Cherokee County was down to their very last phone.”  Upon hearing this fact, the college encouraged its staff, faculty and students to donate their unused cell phones, too.

SAFE Homes provides phones to local domestic violence agencies or local government and law enforcement agencies for use with their domestic violence clients and victims, many of whom live in shelters, to provide immediate access to emergency services. According to Lynn Hawkins, Executive Director, SAFE Homes-Rape Crisis Coalition, donated phones, with all prior customer data removed prior to distributing them for reuse, help victims of abuse feel safer and less isolated by giving them a way to call emergency or support services. “Phone donations given locally benefit victims of abuse within our communities – they provide Hope.”

“SMC, like SAFE Homes, envisions a community liberated from all forms of domestic violence and sexual assault.  The donation of our no-longer-used phones for such a new purpose embodies the positive environment of caring SMC seeks to instill in our students and our community,” shared SMC President, Dr. Colleen Perry Keith. “SMC is humbled to play a role in providing hope and perseverance – and we hope our actions will unite and inspire the public to play an active role in domestic violence awareness, prevention and victim recovery.”