Get Involved

Join in the fight for senior safety, environmental protection and ending domestic violence with Secure the Call. Here’s how:

If you are like almost everyone else in this country, you are now on your second, third or fourth cell phone, and the ones you quit using are stuffed in a drawer somewhere. You had no further use for them, but you’d invested a lot of money and time in them and you just couldn’t throw them away. Give them to us! (We PROMISE to wipe out all your personal information before giving your phone to one of our clients.) There are two ways you can give them to us! (Otherwise, eventually you WILL throw them away.)

Click here to download our tax deduction form.

Find a Barrel

We have upwards of a thousand collection barrels spotted across the country.  Chances are good one of them is close to you. Enter your zip code to find the permanent collection location closest to you. Thank you for your donation!

Send it to Us

Every year we get thousands of phones through the mails or shipped through common carriers like UPS and FEDEX. Our clients need the phones so badly that we’re willing
to pay the shipping charges if you aren’t, but this is the donation we’d truly like to talk you into. Secure the Call has no full time paid staff. We have no paid executives. We
are a charity that runs on fumes from our gas tank. Below you have the choice of two labels; the first unpaid, the second paid. We encourage everyone to just ship us the
phones at their expense, but we understand this may be too much to ask of some. Our recommendation is that if you have 1-3 phones, use the unpaid label. If you are shipping us four or more phones, we begin getting into economies of scale and if you select the paid label we aren’t hurt as badly. We definitely don’t want the cost of shipping to prevent you from giving us the phones. Either way, it’s your choice.  A single phone could save a life.

Click on the icon to download a shipping label that you can attach to your packaged phones to ship them directly to us. Thank you for your donation of phone(s) or phone(s)
and shipping charges!

Pre-paid Mailing Label


Host a Cell Phone Drive at Your Business or Organization

About 20% of the phones we distribute came to us because someone decided to host, stimulate or find someone else to sponsor a four week phone collection drive. The idea is simple. Somewhere close to you within your community is a supermarket, a library, a bank or a large office building; a place where a lot of people come to every day; a place where the same people return to again and again. If we could place one of our collection barrels in such a place, chances are good that a month later we would have collected a lot of phones.

Do you know of such a place? More important, are you in a position to help us get our barrel into such a place? Could you ask the manager or owner if they would host our barrel. All we ask of them is that they spot it in a visible, high-traffic location and take responsibility for returning it to us. (They’ll need to save the box we shipped it to them in for this.)

Our barrel will come in a box with a label on it that summarizes the shipping instructions. We will customize the sign that is included that velcros to the barrel to feature the sponsor’s company name and logo.

Click here for registration! Need Help? Talk to a real person. Call the Drives Coordinator at (301) 891-2900 to discuss the program details or e-mail your question to

Secure the Call is a 501(c)(3) charity that collects unwanted cell phones from sponsor sites, processes them and then redistributes them to those in need. In 2008, over 10,000 phones were collected and processed and suitable phones distributed to seniors and battered women.

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Host a Permanent Barrel

Permanent barrels are similar to the one show here.

The majority of our phones come from Permanent Collection Sites. Examples include Whole Foods Markets, Wal-Mart and Navy Federal Credit Union. These are the sort of places that have constant high traffic and high repeat visits. These are the best sort of places for permanent collection sites. Generically, we look to place these permanent barrels anyplace that enjoys high traffic and repeat visits.

Among the best locations are:

  • Police Stations
  • Libraries
  • Independent Cell Phone Dealers
  • Gyms and Health Clubs
  • Large Municipal Buildings
  • Retail Stores

Because the sponsor here is agreeing to leave the barrel in a high visibility location, (vestibule locations are best) we bear all the expense. All we ask of permanent sponsors is that they check the barrel periodically to see if it’s full and swap it out with the replacement barrel we send them when it is. Again, instructions are on the shipping box. We take care of shipping, boxes and shipping labels, all they have to do is follow the easy instructions.

If you think you can place a barrel in a suitable location, call the PERMANENT SITES COORDINATOR at (301) 891-2900 or complete the form here.


Sponsor a Barrel

Ninety-two percent of the phones we get come to us in one of our custom made collection barrels. Through the years we have experimented with various ways to collect phones. A year or two after our 2003 startup we produced and distributed an elegant one and a half cubic foot collection box that we could ship to a sponsor broken down, and that could be folded back up to be its own return box.

These boxes were highly successful and very economical. Unfortunately, after a few months we noticed that we were getting about twice as many chargers as phones, and that in some boxes fully 80% of the phones were broken. Some people were getting their free 911 phones directly from our collection boxes!

Since we had a continued and growing need for phones, we determined we would need a collection vehicle that was securable but allowed easy entry for donated phones and

Trial and error led us to our current collection barrel with stand and extended custom sign above. The sign above the barrel identifies the Site Sponsor, the organization that is hosting the barrel. But if you look at the Yellow Label on the body of the barrel, you will find the name of the Barrel Sponsor(s), the individual(s) who actually paid for the
barrel’s production.

Without these sponsors we’d be in trouble. Our plans call for a doubling of permanent collection sites in 2012 as well as an increase of 100 four week drives per month. That alone will produce a need for 2,000 more barrels. Add that to the five hundred or so barrels we must replace every year because of normal wear and tear and we are confronting a $150,000 expense. We’re constantly looking for large donations and grants, but we think the majority of this expense will come from individual donors who will sponsor one to five barrels each.

A barrel costs us $60 in place at a Site Sponsor’s location. That includes everything you see in the picture plus freight and a shipping box. The Donor’s name will be prominently displayed on the Barrel Sponsor label. If you can’t afford a whole barrel, we’ll find you a “Barrel Buddy”. Just make any donation of $20 or more, using the SPONSOR A BARREL form here.


Donate Money

We’ve already talked about donating your time through our volunteer program, but for some people, good people, that just won’t work. Your help would be equally appreciated if you wrote a check or electronic donation via Paypal. Like all charities, we have a constant need for new funds. Unlike most charities, we’ve never been too good at asking for it. We’ve always been an all-volunteer charity, and we really didn’t need much. The founders, the board members and dedicated volunteers could always be counted on for gas, for collection barrel pick-ups, or stamps for a small mailing.

But we’re active in over forty states now, and there is so much left to do. It doesn’t have to be a big check. Everybody is subject to competing demands, so ten to twenty dollars would be just as appreciated from working people as hundreds of dollars from a bank president. Secure the Call relies solely upon the generosity of the community for everything we do!


Become a Community Partner

While we always need more used cell phones, we also need more help giving them away. There are a host of agencies that “rub shoulders” with domestic abuse victims, senior citizens or others who lack ready access to 911 emergency services. Most of these entities are Abuse Shelters, Law Enforcement Agencies, or Senior Citizen Centers.

People that work for one of these agencies that help us distribute cell phones are what we call our Community Partners. If you work at an agency like this, or any agency or institution that deals with people in need—with no convenient way to summon 911 emergency services—we can use your help. We now need more community partners around the country to help us distribute cell phones to those in need.

If this sounds like you and your organization, and you’re willing to be the go-to person for people in your area that need help with access to emergency services, let us provide you with the cell phones you require. We’ll do all the work.

If you would like to become one of out community partner, please fill out the form here.


Become a Volunteer

Volunteering for Secure the Call can change your life and actually help save the lives of others. As we grow and distribute more phones, we hear more and more stories of seniors or battered women who avoided real danger or distress because they had immediate, convenient access to 911 emergency services.

The administrator of a neighborhood senior center in Darlington, South Carolina related this story to us:

A 94 yr. old man, William, had fallen at his home and was unable to get to his home phone for help. He lay on the floor unable to move. He lay there for hours until a neighbor found him. A week later he came into the center looking for some help. Still weak from his fall, he wanted to make sure that he was never so alone again. The senior center provided William with a Secure the Call 911 emergency cell phone and now he has some peace of mind. He keeps his Secure the Call cell phone in his pocket at all times and now he knows that he will always be able to call for help when he needs it.


Additionally, Secure the Call is proud to be protecting the environment, having saved 30,000 cell phones from being thrown into the local landfill in 2011. Cell phones contain both nearly inert substances and toxic materials. If not properly disposed of, some of these can persist for up to 10,000 years in the environment.

We cannot continue to help people like William or the environment without your help. We have a range of ways for you to get involved.

Read our Volunteer FAQs page

Sign up for more information!


Big thanks to Capital Exhibits for their generosity in donating retractable banner stands to our organization