More than 70 new cell phones were donated to A Friend’s House in London Tuesday by the Madison Correctional Institution.
The phones were presented by Warden Rhonda Richard to Marilyn Chaffin, Executive Director of A Friend’s House.
When asked how they received the phones, Richard explained, “The phones came from inmates’ friends or family who would throw them over the fence and never entered the facility. The phones are brand new and have never been activated, therefore we thought that it would be a wonderful donation to the community and particularly to the Friend’s House to be used for positive means rather than trying to utilize them in a negative way.”
According to Chaffin, they have an agreement with Verizon that they bring in the phones, they put minutes on them. “There is no way they can get on WiFi, it’s just texting and emergency calls. The phones get 3,000 minutes to contact people and 9,000 minutes to text. They eventually turn it back in, which we take back to Verizon to get minutes put back on it for someone else,” she pointed out.
Chaffin says the phones will be going to “domestic violence victims in Madison County and surrounding counties, assault victims, and children.”
“The staff at A Friend’s House have been receiving a lot of positive feedback from people at the courthouse, Jobs and Family Services, and local schools,” said Chaffin.
“If we see individuals that are not in an abusive situation we try and help them out by sharing the phones we get.”
A Friend’s House also holds a recycling program which sends smartphones overseas to people in the military to call home to their loved ones.
As this was the warden’s first time donating phones, she said she hopes to continue donating and creating a partnership with A Friend’s House.
Reach Mallory Powell at 740-852-1616, ext. 1616.