BUFFALO, NY — Verizon Wireless and the Buffalo Bills will collect no-longer-used wireless phones to benefit victims of domestic violence at this Sunday's Bills game vs. the Minnesota Vikings. Through Verizon Wireless' HopeLine® program, these phones will be refurbished and recycled or sold. Proceeds will be used to purchase wireless phones for use by domestic violence victims in emergency or threatening situations. HopeLine also makes financial grants to domestic violence organizations. This is the sixth year the Bills and Verizon Wireless have teamed up to fight domestic violence in our communities.
Bills linebacker and HopeLine spokesperson London Fletcher encourages fans to bring their no longer used wireless phones to the game and deposit them in collection bins at any of the 10 gates as they enter Ralph Wilson Stadium. The first 1,000 fans to donate a phone will receive a poster featuring Fletcher. Kickoff is at 1:00 p.m. Gates open at 11:30 a.m.
Prior to kickoff, the sixth annual HopeLine Awards Ceremony will take place. The award will acknowledge an individual who has helped to combat domestic violence or assisted victims of this tragedy within their own community. The winner will be presented with a plaque honoring their efforts and $2,500.00 will be donated on behalf of the winner to the domestic violence shelter or program of his/her choice.
"By doing something as simple as donating a wireless phone you no longer use, you can truly make a difference for a victim of domestic violence," said Ken Dixon, president of Verizon Wireless' Upstate New York Region. "HopeLine focuses on helping our communities prevent domestic violence, and we are pleased to have this opportunity to use wireless technology for this important purpose."
"Thousands of women are abused and assaulted every day," said Fletcher. "We know we can count on our fans to help out by simply digging through their closets and donating their no longer used phones to HopeLine, either at the game this Sunday or at Verizon Wireless stores across the state."
Last year, Verizon Wireless and the Bills collected nearly 1,000 phones from Bills fans at the 2005 game day collection.
Verizon Wireless, a recognized corporate leader in the fight against domestic violence, works to combat domestic violence and raise awareness of the issue through the company's HopeLine program. Marking its 11th year in 2006, HopeLine today collects wireless phones and accessories from any wireless service provider, and then refurbishes the phones or recycles them in an environmentally friendly way. Proceeds from the HopeLine program benefit victims of domestic violence and non-profit advocacy agencies, providing essential communication tools of wireless phones and wireless services, and financial grants. Phone donations are accepted at all 1,200-plus Verizon Wireless Stores across the country. For additional information, please visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.