CTIA WIRELESS '98, ATLANTA — Bell Atlantic Mobile, a corporate leader in the fight against domestic violence, today announced it has earmarked $100,000 to help victims by providing wireless technology solutions.
Specifically, the company has pledged to increase the reach of HopeLine, its free voice mail service for residents of domestic violence and transitional shelters, by partnering with government agencies to establish statewide programs. HopeLine gives individuals who do not have access to a personal phone line a single point of contact for communicating with prospective employers and landlords, child and health care providers and family members. Also in 1998, the company will increase the number of phones, voice mail boxes and airtime that it donates to community organizations. This commitment continues the company's tradition of leveraging its wireless technology to help address society's most vexing problems.
Also today, Bell Atlantic Mobile announced a pledge of $10,000 to the Family Violence Prevention Fund. The Fund is one of the nation's leading organizations working to improve the health, judicial and public policy responses to domestic violence. It also runs the nation's only public education campaign promoting prevention and intervention, "There's No Excuse For Domestic Violence."
In 1997, Bell Atlantic Mobile donated more than 1,500 phones and 250 voice mail boxes, valued at $57,000, to programs helping victims of domestic violence. In addition, the company was instrumental last year in helping to establish programs in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Delaware that make HopeLine available to residents in all domestic violence and transitional shelters throughout the state. As a result of these efforts, Denny Strigl, Bell Atlantic Mobile president and CEO, was invited to play a prominent role at an October 1997 White House event recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
"Over the past few years, Bell Atlantic Mobile has become a recognized advocate for supporting domestic violence victims -- financially through the FVPF and with technology solutions that have had a tremendous impact on the community," stated Esta Soler, executive director of the Family Violence Prevention Fund. "Through this continued commitment, Denny Strigl has set a strong example to other members of the corporate community of recognizing the importance of philanthropic dedication."
"Domestic violence is an epidemic that is profoundly affecting our communities and our workplaces, and it's getting worse over time," stated Strigl. "We plan to continue leveraging our wireless technology to make HopeLine widely available throughout our Maine-to-Georgia service area. In addition, we elected to make a donation to the Family Violence Prevention Fund in an effort to improve the quality of life of our customers, our neighbors and our employees who are in domestic violence situations."
Since its inception in July 1995, Bell Atlantic Mobile has dedicated significant resources to assisting victims of domestic violence. Its HopeLine initiative provided more than 4,400 individuals - primarily homeless and victims of domestic violence -- with free voice mail service during 1997. Of these, more than 860 retained permanent living quarters and more than 600 secured employment using HopeLine. Another 175 used the service for resolving health care issues.
Note to Editors: Bell Atlantic Mobile is the largest wireless service provider on the East Coast and the second largest in the United States. The company owns and operates the most extensive network in the East, covering 111,000 square miles, and the largest chain of wireless retail outlets offering a full range of wireless personal communications services, including voice, data and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has more than 5 million customers and 7,000 employees in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and -- through a separate subsidiary -- the Southwest. Through its "Wireless at Work" community relations program, which includes HopeLine voice mail service, Bell Atlantic Mobile uses its wireless technology to help individuals and communities improve security and emergency communications.