On October 6, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, nonprofit leaders and Verizon representatives convened at the Allegheny County Courthouse Courtyard in Pittsburgh, PA to kick off this year’s HopeLine phone drive.
At the event, Verizon presented a $30,000 grant to Southwest PA Says No More, a growing community of organizations and individuals who are working to end domestic and sexual violence. “We applaud Verizon’s commitment to investing in domestic violence services,” said Julie DeSeyn, vice president of community impact at United Way, who spoke for Southwest PA Says No More with Kristy Trautmann, executive director of FISA Foundation. “This is a community issue,” added Kristy. “We really count on supporters like Verizon’s HopeLine to help us join together to end domestic violence.”
Verizon presents Southwest PA Says No More with a $30,000 grant at the Verizon HopeLine phone drive.[/caption] Verizon has set a goal of collecting 1 million phones by the end of 2015, and Pittsburgh leaders are doing their part to help drive awareness of this important issue in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. “We want to thank Verizon for their work on this issue […] we’re glad to be a part of it,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. Rich donated the inaugural phone to kick off the phone drive in Allegheny County.
The City of Pittsburgh and several other organizations are conducting drives this month, including United Way of Allegheny County, FISA Foundation, Family Resources, Pressley Ridge, Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, East End Cooperative Ministry and STANDING FIRM.
Bill Carnahan of Verizon State Government Affairs opened the program with some sobering statistics: “Every 9 seconds in the U.S. a woman is assaulted or beaten. One in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of physical violence by an intimate partner. On a typical day, more than 20,000 calls are placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.”
He paused to let the numbers sink in. “Thank you all for your commitment to tackling this devastating epidemic in Allegheny County and across the country,” he continued.
Carnahan of Verizon State Government Affairs opened the Verizon HopeLine kick off.[/caption] Verizon’s HopeLine Program collects no-longer-used wireless phones, batteries, chargers and accessories in any condition, from any service provider and turns them into support for domestic violence awareness and prevention organizations. Established in 2001, HopeLine has donated nearly 200,000 phones to domestic violence victims and survivors and awarded nearly $30 million in cash grants to domestic violence awareness and prevention organizations.
If you’re interested in donating a phone or hosting your own phone drive, please visit our website to learn how to get involved.