Verizon Wireless Launches HopeLine<sup>SM</sup> Phone Recycling Program, Donates Phones To Help Domestic Violence Victims On Maryland's Eastern Shore

Verizon Wireless Launches HopeLineSM Phone Recycling Program, Donates Phones To Help Domestic Violence Victims On Maryland's Eastern Shore

Public Encouraged to Support Recycling Program by Dropping Off Phones at Salisbury Verizon Wireless Communications Store, Worcester County Health Departments

April 16, 2002




Domestic violence victims and programs on Maryland's Eastern Shore will benefit from an expansion of a national wireless phone-recycling program through Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless communications provider.

At a news conference today at the Maryland State Police Headquarters in Berlin, the company announced it has joined forces with the Worcester County Domestic Violence Prevention Coalition (DVPC) and the County Commission for Women to launch its HopeLineSM Phone Recycling Program in Worcester, Wicomico, and Somerset Counties to help local domestic violence victims. All phones collected will be refurbished, recycled or sold, and either phones or cash will be donated to local domestic violence organizations and shelters, including Life Crisis Center and Diakonia.

To help jump-start the new initiative, Verizon Wireless donated six wireless phones and airtime to Life Crisis and Diakonia at the event. The shelters will loan the phones on a rotating basis to the domestic violence victims they serve so they can call police, 911 or the shelters' hotlines in an emergency.

The public is encouraged to join the recycling effort to ensure HopeLine can benefit as many domestic violence victims as possible. Wireless phones that are no longer in use can be dropped off at the Verizon Wireless Communications Store in Salisbury, located at 2720 North Salisbury Boulevard. Phone donations are accepted during regular business hours (Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, Saturdays from 10 - 6, and Sundays 12 - 4).

Alternative drop-off sites include the seven Worcester County Health Department locations in Ocean City, Berlin, Snow Hill, Pocomoke, the WACS Center on Route 50, the Isle of Wight County Service Building on Route 90, and the Prevention Office at 305 Bank Street in Snow Hill. To locate the drop-off location nearest you, contact 410-632-0056. All donations are tax-deductible and receipts are provided.

"Verizon Wireless welcomes the Worcester County Domestic Violence Prevention Coalition and the County Commission for Women as HopeLine partners and looks forward to working together to combat domestic violence and raise awareness about the need for prevention," said Patrick Devlin, Regional President for Verizon Wireless in Washington/Baltimore and Virginia. "HopeLine enables Verizon Wireless to put our products and services to work to help those who suffer from domestic abuse and provides a convenient means for people to recycle no longer used wireless phones to benefit victims on Maryland's Eastern Shore."

According to the 2000 Uniform Crime Report, over the past five years the Tri-County area has averaged 833 domestic violence cases per year with Worcester County accounting for 369 of those cases. "Clearly, too many people are being victimized in our community," said Marty Pusey, Chairperson of the Worcester County DVPC. "We are excited about this opportunity to partner with Verizon Wireless in order to support victims and to raise awareness about this critical issue."

"Wireless phones give domestic violence victims a much needed lifeline to call for help in an emergency," said Bee Miller of Diakonia. "We thank Verizon Wireless for its generous contribution
and leadership in the area of domestic violence prevention."

As a company, Verizon Wireless dedicates its resources to both the prevention and the rebuilding of lives affected by domestic violence. An exclusive Verizon Wireless program, HopeLine collects wireless phones that are no longer in use.

The proceeds are used to support domestic violence prevention groups in various ways including the purchase of new phones and airtime for emergency use by domestic violence victims and the donation of voicemail boxes to give victims a confidential means to receive and retrieve messages from prospective employers and landlords as they rebuild their lives.

About The Worcester County Domestic Violence Prevention Coalition

The Worcester County Domestic Violence Prevention Coalition was established in 1993 by the Worcester County Health Department as part of an injury prevention initiative. It is made up of organizations representing law enforcement, the court system, social service and health agencies, community members and victims. Its role is to serve as the Coordinating Council for the County by collecting data and monitoring the problem, advocating for identified needs, networking and educating professionals and the public about domestic violence.

About the Worcester County Commission for Women

The Worcester County Commission for Women, established in 1995 by the Worcester County Commissioners, is supporting the HopeLine Phone Recycling Program by purchasing the collection boxes and raising public awareness about domestic violence.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications and Internet services. The company has the largest nationwide wireless network and 29 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Reporters and editors can find more information on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.

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