The short of it is that they refurbish old cell phones to give to battered women. Even if they have no service, they can still dial 911. If you also have an old phone you are willing to donate, let me know, and I will send it off for you
It is helpful when your friends have easily recognizable cars.
It is not helpful when the resulting excitement from seeing your friend leads to an argument about whether or not they recognized you and you neglect to get into the proper lane and miss your freeway exit.