St. Mary's Hospital Cell PhoneDrive a Success

PASSAIC, NJ — Employees at St. Mary's Hospital recently collected 160 old, unused wireless phones to be refurbished and distributed to victims of domestic violence nationwide through the Verizon Wireless HopeLine® community service program. In return, Verizon Wireless has donated 25 digital wireless phones, as well as 10 Hopeline® wireless voice mailboxes to the Passaic County Women's Center.

"We would like to thank everyone who donated phones for this cause," said Jim DeVenezia, spokesperson for St. Mary's Hospital's Mission Committee, which initiated the project. "We received such a positive response - not only from St. Mary's employees, but from members of the community who heard about the program through the newspaper, by word-of-mouth, and through their local parishes."

The phones donated by Verizon Wireless to the Passaic County Women's Center are pre-programmed to dial 911 and the Center's crisis hotline. The Center will lend the wireless phones to domestic violence victims to carry with them to call for help in an emergency. The HopeLine wireless voice mailboxes act like an answering machine and help women communicate more easily with prospective employers, landlords and other social services agencies.

Since its inception in 1995, the HopeLine community service program has allowed Verizon Wireless to give back to the community by bringing its wireless products and services to various groups in need throughout the company's service area. Domestic violence prevention and education is the company's chief community focus. Verizon Wireless has donated or recycled nearly 45,000 phones in the New York metro area.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 28 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