LEXINGTON, KY — Today, Kentucky First Lady Judi Patton announced that she and Verizon Wireless have started Judi's Treasure Chest, a program to collect school and art supplies, books and toys for children in grades K-12 who are escaping circumstances of domestic violence.
The collection, which begins today, will be held in Verizon Wireless communications stores across Kentucky. It will last throughout October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. During the month, store visitors can bring donations to the drop boxes, which will be gathered and then taken to a local domestic violence shelter.
"I hope that the name of this project can be a constant reminder that children are the real treasure of our Commonwealth and that we must use our voices and our actions to protect them from domestic violence," said First Lady Judi Patton.
Domestic violence is an issue that is close to both the First Lady and Verizon Wireless. Patton has used her tenure as First Lady of Kentucky to bring attention to the issues of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault, and she was a victim's advocate long before Governor Patton was elected. She has been instrumental in pushing domestic violence legislation and in creating the Governor's Office of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Services, for which she serves as special adviser. Patton is the recipient of various local and national awards for her work in the arena of domestic violence and child advocacy.
In keeping with its philosophy of giving back to the community, Verizon Wireless has made domestic violence the focus of its philanthropic efforts nationwide. Verizon Wireless has worked with, and donated money to, several national domestic violence organizations, such as the Family Violence Prevention Fund and National Workplace Resource Center on Domestic Violence. In addition to national initiatives, Verizon Wireless is also committed to supporting local organizations and programs, such as Judi's Treasure Chest, to aid survivors of domestic violence.
"Verizon Wireless is very pleased to work with such a distinguished child's advocate as First Lady Patton," said Wayne White, president, Michigan/Indiana/Kentucky Region, Verizon Wireless. "Domestic violence affects far too many people in the United States, especially children, and Verizon Wireless is committed to raising awareness of the issue and to helping survivors. Judi's Treasure Chest is a step in the right direction toward relieving children in Kentucky from the horror of domestic violence."
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.