Nation's Largest Wireless Company Swaps Cash for Phones in New Orleans

Nation's Largest Wireless Company Swaps Cash for Phones in New Orleans

Drop and Swap Program to Benefit YWCA Battered Women's Program

October 15, 2001




Got an old wireless phone in your drawer? Turn it into cash for domestic violence victims by donating it at a New Orleans-area Verizon Wireless retail store during October.

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless communications provider, will contribute five dollars (up to $1,000) for every phone donated to the YWCA Battered Women's Program. Verizon's goal is to collect 200 phones and donate $1,000 to the agency.

"The YWCA will use these funds to purchase items off our wish list," said Cassandra McClain, coordinator of the YWCA Battered Women's Program. "These can be small gifts for survivors who seek our assistance or items that will help our agency become a more efficient organization and allow us to reach more women in the community," said McClain.

Phone donations can be made by visiting any of Verizon's 11 New Orleans area retail stores (excluding kiosks). All wireless phones and accessories are accepted regardless of condition.

In addition to monetary donations, phones collected by Verizon Wireless will be refurbished and preprogrammed to dial emergency hotline numbers and donated to local shelters.

The phones will then be distributed to survivors of domestic violence whose circumstances have the potential to escalate into additional violence. Nationwide, nearly one million women suffer from abuse.
"The phones could be a lifeline to a New Orleans resident by enabling her to quickly summon help when faced with a life-threatening situation," said McClain.

Since 1995, Verizon Wireless' community service program has been dedicated to using wireless technology to help individuals and communities. The company's primary philanthropic focus is on domestic violence awareness and prevention.

"With the tremendous technological changes taking place in telecommunications every year, customers are upgrading their phones to get the latest features," said Katherine Greene, regional president Verizon Wireless-Houston/Gulf Coast. "This cycle leaves many unused phones and accessories forgotten in a drawer or closet. Our Drop and Swap collection campaign offers a convenient way to make sure those phones go directly to those who need them most while demonstrating our commitment to putting more resources behind domestic violence awareness and prevention."

Phones that are too old to refurbish will be recycled or sold. Proceeds from donated phones that are sold will be used to purchase new phones for victims of domestic violence locally. Phones that are not able to be re-used will be disposed of through an EPA-certified salvage company.

Any New Orleans-area organization that works with domestic violence victims can request phones by calling the Verizon Wireless phone collection hotline at 281-876-5101 to have their needs assessed and to submit requests. In addition to its retail collection program, Verizon Wireless offers a corporate wireless phone collection kit, available by calling the same hotline number, which includes a collection/shipping bin, instructions for implementing the program and information for employees.

Additional information on local domestic violence programs is available from the YWCA Battered Women's Program at 504-486-0377 and the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE.

Participating Verizon Wireless retail stores include:


3700 S. Carrollton Ave.

Eastlake Plaza

9701 I-10 Service Road, Suite 23F

Elmwood Shopping Center

5161 Citrus Blvd.

Suite 3010


702 SW Railroad Ave.


3550 Williams Blvd.

Lakeside Shopping Center

3301 Veterans Blvd.

Suite 60

Mandeville Store

4350 Hwy 22, Suite J

Manhattan Store

1523 Manhattan Blvd.

Suite J

New Orleans Center

1400 Poydras Street

Room 190

Northside Store

131 W. Gause Blvd.

Riverbend Store

622 S. Carrollton Ave.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 28.7 million wireless voice and data customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD), including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo Personal Communications. Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 97 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.