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Home > Press Page

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 —More than 25,000 cell phones have been collected for a program that gives Cook County senior citizens a lifeline in case of an emergency, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.

The donated phones collected through the Sheriff’s Office are sent to the 911 Cell Phone Bank in Florida, where they are stripped of personal information and distributed as emergency phones. The phones are not activated. Inactivated phones, however, can still call 9-1-1, and only 9-1-1, as long as they have a charged battery.

The cell phones provide an extra level of security for seniors when they are driving, taking public transit or participating in outdoor activities. Recipients have not only used these phones to help themselves in case of emergency, but also have used them to report vehicle accidents they’ve seen and medical emergencies they have witnessed.

The donated phones have been collected at numerous sites throughout Cook County since 2006.

If you are a senior, or know a senior, who does not have a cell phone of their own, please call the Sheriff’s Cell Phones for Seniors Program at 708-974-6042, to receive an application.

Individuals, local organizations and businesses are encouraged to donate their unwanted cell phones or sponsor a cell phone drive to help support this program.

A list of donation sites may be found here.

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