Normal Gadgets assists The Neville House

Andrew S. Avitt / Photographer: Fafwan Matni, repair technician at Normal Gadgets, repairs a phone that will later be donated to The Neville House.

Andrew S. Avitt / Photographer:
Fafwan Matni, repair technician at Normal Gadgets, repairs a phone that will later be donated to The Neville House.

Cell phone repair shop Normal Gadgets has given up to 47 cell phones to Neville House within the last two years.

Normal Gadgets has been able to donate more than 20 cell phones to the Neville House in spring 2014 alone.

The Neville House, a domestic violence center in Bloomington-Normal, provides assistance to families and abused women. The Neville House also provides an emergency shelter and hotline number for immediate crises.

The shelter works to maintain and provide a safe place for victims of violence and their families.

“These people have to leave their environments and homes, and we provide phones to them that others are no longer using so they can be able to call 911 or for help,” Terry Ballantini, Normal Gadgets operations manager, said.

Many of the phones Normal Gadgets receives come from people who upgrade to newer phones. They give the older ones to Normal Gadgets to be cleaned, restored and possibly donated to Neville House if the phones still meet proper working conditions.

“We definitely encourage people to recycle their old phones they aren’t using anymore,” Ballantini said.

“[We then] check the quality of the phones [we receive] and make sure they are good, clean and work properly before we donate them.”

Once the phones donated have met the criteria to be given to the Neville House, they provide the people of the shelter access to help if they need it, which they would not be able to have if not for the donations.

Ballantini and his wife, Angie, came up with the two charities they wanted to work with in this project — Neville House is the local charity they contribute to while the national military is the national charity they donate to, which also receives cell phones donated by people who no longer use them.

The Normal Gadgets shop opened in September 2011 and began donating cell phones to Neville House in 2013.

“We actually receive up to 200 devices — not all of them are suitable for use, though,” Ballantini said.

Many of them may not work properly or come without the right chargers available for the phones.

“Our goal is to always collect these and we encourage people to bring us their old phones,” he said.

“We definitely want to continue asking members of the community to donate every year. We want to donate to the families here.”

Normal Gadgets works to fix different types of devices from game systems, smart phones and tablets.

The shop has been praised for the quick and remarkable service it offers its customers with repairs and refurbishing for reasonable prices.

The phone repair shop is located at 2103 N. Veterans Parkway #112, Bloomington, Ill. The shop can be reached at 309.807.3333.

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